Quite an enjoyable ride.
For me one of the best feelings I get every time I play this game is how it makes you, the player, feel important because you play an important role, you may not be the biggest gun out there and you may be forced to leave some battles but in the end what you do matters!, the corniest comparison I can make is Luke Skywalker blowing up the Death Star hahah. So at the same time you're fighting alongside other wingmen, cruisers and capital ships etc that also have an equally important role in the battle as you.
Visually this game is amazing even vanilla, but for anybody who wants to play this I HIGHLY recommend the Freespace 2 Open Source Project stuff which updates all the visuals to an amazing standard that compares with games of today and also gives you access to many custom campaigns and other extras.
Blazing through space at breakneck speeds with missiles locked onto your arse and ships flying past you when you're trying to blast some other unlucky dude whilst huge capital ships are tearing each other apart with monstrous beam cannons is exhilarating to say the least. But there are also moments when you'll be pushing a long in a bomber in a desperate and near suicidal situation to destroy a huge enemy vessel which poses a severe threat to the survival of everybody, these are the Luke Skywalker moments that I speak of ;).
In conclusion Freespace 2 is an awesome game with a story of epic proportions, engaging gameplay and the ability to make the player feel of worth.
Everybody should buy this, hit up Good Old Games gog.com and do yourself a favor :D.