Rather late to do one of these, but the Starlancer Arena has put up a preview of Warthog's upcoming space sim. It's a stereotypical fansite preview, and of course it mentions Wing Commander and Privateer a few times.
If a poll were taken to measure the most popular space sims ever made in history, the list would be smattered with the names that would include the Wing Commander and Privateer series of games. Set in the same universe, their popularity is unquestionable with such a multitude of follow up games ranging from the original all the way up to WC IV ; Prophecy, and the two Privateer games.You can find the article here. For once the screenshots are not too dark.