Great game! Especially now, since I got a far far better computer than I had when I first bought this years ago, and I can crank up the graphics to max. There is plenty of things to do. You can mine and use the metals to upgrade your ship in many possible ways, while you can also buy plenty of stuff you can sell in other sectors. While the controls are not the best, it's challenging, and not to mention, that you HAVE TO upgrade your ship to have your ship be manuverable and faster etc. You can make factions like you if you do their missions, but pi$$ off others if you get into their domestic issues with other races (shooting down their enemies, which may be neutral to you) . You can get friendly with the pirates and get their ships and do their missions. There are jumpgates and you can even bookmark locations in sectors , where you can jump to with autopilot. The galaxy is huge, there is plenty of things to do.
Also the music is top notch (maybe a few songs aren't, while a few are fantastic), voice acting is not the best, but this was a budget title (and a very good budget title) so I don't mind.
The game is far far better than what they offer today with (half of functionality and depth than this), even though when this game came out, it was measured against Freelancer and even the reviews said it's a "diamond in the rough". Today - unfortunately - this diamond in the rough is a better gem, than anything else in similar category.
There were even mods for this game! Updated planet textures and better starfield etc. Not sure if they are still around on some deserted websites.
I can see it's been offered for a few bucks. If nothing else, it's worth it. Just have patience for the first half hour and learn the controls (works great with both mouse control or joystick) .
For the question that comes up in your mind (in 2014), if it's better than X: Rebirth the answer is Yes.