Freelancer is a Space flight role playing game. You start of at a low level, and by doing various tasks, gain money and levels until you can afford amazing ships, guns and other things.
The latest game of the genre from microsoft, with many hours of gameplay in. Think of the gameplay of elite, mixed with the recent devolpments of games like jumpgate with the latest graphics engine and you probably are coming close.
So far there are two pages on this site about Freelancer.
The frequently asked questions
A fully searchable/sortable list of ships in the Freelancer universe