Usually I don't discriminate games because of their age but this one is too old, it really is. The game mechanics are completely outdated and having your own economic empire is absolutely laborious since you have to approach every station to receive your money from it.
Back in 1999 when it was released, Xbtf didn't just live from its atmosphere or story telling. The main reason for its success were the advanced trading possibilities that were phenomenal for that time and the fact that you could fly through three dimensional space in a giant universe with also quite good graphics. Nowadays these won't impress anybody anymore.
It's nothing against the game itself but you should better try the other X-series games.