|ZOMG! Spaceship Power loadout = nerdgasm|
This might be a controversial choice for some as not everyone is perhaps old enough to remember the Elite games and also because it originated from the UK (so it might be lost on American and Australian audiences). However, the Elite series, to which presumably Elite Dangerous belongs to, has a most distinguished history. The first game, Elite, was developed by Ian Bell and David Braben and came out in 1984 running on BBC Micros (and Acorn Electrons)! The graphics were primitive wireframe models but they were actually pretty damn good for their day. Couple that with the amount of freedom afforded to the player in exploring the galaxy (a procedurally generated one at that) and you've got a revolutionary game right there.
The sequel by David Braben was released in 1993 and was called Frontier: Elite II. This was the game that introduced me to the Elite franchise and it's basically a bigger and better Elite. The game had better graphics, a realistic physics engine (you can use the gravity of planets for a slingshot effect) and the ability to land on planets. When I originally played the game I was surprised at the amount of detail and realism. It was almost like Skyrim... except flying a space ship where you feel like you're part of a living and breathing universe.
Anyway, upshot of it is, I'm a big fan of space trading games yet I haven't found one to really sink my teeth into since the days of Freelancer, Frontier: Elite II or the Privateer games. Elite Dangerous promises to include multiplayer capabilities and also the ability for players to have a bigger impact on political entities in the universe. While Chris Roberts's Star Citizen is the game receiving the spotlight at the moment, the fact remains that David Braben (and Ian Bell) created space trading sims years before. Since Star Citizen has pushed back its final release for sometime in 2015, this could be a good game to sink your teeth into in the meantime.
[LINK: Official Elite Dangerous website]