Hi all

I grew up on space sims such as Elite, X-Wing and TIE fighter. However, it's a genre I haven't really played much of the past decade or so. Recently I've found myself wanting to dust off my joystick and get stuck into a freeform space sim. However, my requirements are quite specific, and I haven't been able to find a game which really meets them. I was hoping that RPS might be able to help me identify something to get lost in. Specifically I am looking for a space sim with the following attributes:
  • A large freeform universe in which to explore/trade/fight
  • Not too steep a learning curve- I don't want to have to devote my life to learning to play the thing, I don't have the time. (This is what has put me off the X series)
  • Must be playable with a joystick (I believe this rules out Freelancer)

I welcome all suggestions!