EVE's mission system (pre-EVE, by the way) coupled with the zero-G flight mechanics of Freespace form the core of an often-challenging and generally fun space combat sim with a sound and engaging campaign. The control scheme is daft and requires memorization of a full-size keyboard layout (the boxed version shipped with a huge trifold reference chart, which you may still be able to find if you're exceptionally good at Google searches). Also, If you don't have a joystick with twist/rudder support you might have to hit up Ebay for one before you start playing. BUT, if you've got the time and feel like playing a genuinely satisfying and entertaining starfighter game, this is one of the best there is.
There is a multiplayer mode, and while the online servers are quite likely dead these days, I had some great times trying to match my wits, skill and ship upgrades against opposing pilots. The real draw, however, is the campaign. Based around jobs and for-hire missions, it'll have you chasing down troublemakers for private shipping magnates or joining up with the enlisted military against common enemies, all as a mercenary pilot voiced by none other than Bruce Campbell. The voice acting is substantial, in fact, and serves the story in a way that invites you to root for the Nathan Drake-esque protagonist's otherwise short and unremarkable journey from self-interested freelancer to potential 'good guy' with a cause. You can save your earnings to buy new ships, improve your weapons payload, and add new functionality to your ship's capabilities (lateral thrust, for example).
On the downside, the learning curve is substantial, and if you want to play this game right you're going to need a flight stick with rudder controls. But smooth and enjoyable space combat and a broad range of available unique ships and environments to fly them in may have you coming back for more. Good 'ol Bruce Campbell.