I have tried to play Elite Dangerous a few times but the learning curve is too steep, No Mans Sky scratched my space travel itch back in 2016 but I had the urge again. After completing Spider-Man Miles Morales I looked through my PS+ library and found Rebel Galaxy and after watching a couple of reviews on youtube it deserved a try.
Three hours later and I was hooked. Transporting goods around the system, fighting pirates, saving merchants from attacks and playing the market to make some credit on Gold Ingots.
The combat is naval-style where you use broadside cannons to line up attacks & turrets target fighter ships. When you have enough credits you can look at either upgrading your weapons, defence or engine components.
Make sure you visit stations on a regular basis because these are also what trigger the auto-save feature. I had a couple of game crashes on the PS5 and lost some of my progress.
When you are either brave or strong enough to leave the first system you will get access to missions which offer a better reward and you no longer need to play the trading game. I was completing missions that would offer 100K which quickly made me save enough to purchase the Tennhausen ship. Thankfully all of your previous ship upgrades carry over and you just need to focus on the extra turrents on the new ship. There are quite a few ships in the game everything from nimble frigates to Destroyers & Dreadnaughts.
There is a simple story which will have you travelling through many systems and facing up against many foes. There is a staus bar for each faction but I found it almost impossible to get on a neutral footing with any of the pirate factions so just stuck on good terms with the Militia and destroyed anyone else that got in my way.
If you are looking for an 'Elite-lite' then Rebel Galaxy scratched that itch for me perfectly, next for me is The First Tree an indie exploration game.