Here is the wiki page for all the information so I don't need to replicate everything there.
Elite on the Commodore 64 (C64) came on a single floppy disk but had a huge playing area due to the way it created solar systems from mathematical data. As you can see from the image on the left the graphics were also basic compared to todays standards but pretty good for the day. Mostly in wire frame the only filled in graphics I can remember was the Sun, which you could re fuel your ship from if you flew close enough.
The starter system was Lave and from there you could branch out in your own galaxy or several others. Unlike Eve you flew the ship with a joystick but the game used something closer to proper Newtonian physics so the ship flew more like a real one would in space. Early in the game when you are money poor you even have to dock your ship manually by match your ships rotation with the small entry point on the space station and then slowly move forward while correcting for errors as the station approached.
This was wonderful encouragement to make money by trading until you could afford a docking computer.
When using the docking computer it would play a music track, The Blue Danube by Strauss. To this day if I hear that piece of music Elite is all I can think of.
You started off with a rating of Harmless and worked your way towards the Elite rating. Shooting pirates, trading etc would move you towards this goal. Shoot the wrong ship or heaven forbid a Station and then the police Vipers would undock and proceed to ruin your whole day, they were feared.
So when I'm playing Eve Online a part of me is always playing Elite.