Baja and the Edge of Control

Baja: Edge of Control is, by far, one of the best racing games I have ever played. Interestingly, it also happens to be one of the least known. If I could describe my experience with the game in one word, I would simply say it is fantastic. 

This article reviews the game based on my experience with it. To my knowledge, there is only one version of Baja: Edge of Control. It was remastered for new-age systems about ten years after its original release, but the game remained the same for the most part. 

Baja racers neck and neck in the race

Baja & Racing for a Living

To start, it is essential to describe what Baja: Edge of Control is modeled after. The Baja 1000 is an annual race that occurs in Mexico. It attracts racers worldwide, and it started in the mid-1900s. 

The race is dubbed the “Baja 1000” because it can take well over 1000 miles and longer than a day. Although the race is off-road based, it is as reputable as some of the classier races like the day-long ones that occur at Le Mans. 

Baja: Edge of Control pulls from the nature of the Baja 1000 and places the dynamics of the race into the game. From the desert landscapes to the highways and oceanside passes, every element of the game ties back to the actual Baja 1000. 

The game is different in terms of following the concept of the Baja 1000. Still, it does race justice from a public relations perspective because it is one of the few racing games that sheds light on this iconic race. 

Baja vehicles looping around a track

Baja Gameplay

The gameplay is straightforward and exactly what you would expect in a racing game. While players can play against AI, multiplayer mode increases the amount of fun that can be had with friends. 

I have always thought racing games with multiplayer were the best, especially because they allowed for more individuals to participate. The multiplayer in this game is a testament to the exact reason why I love this game’s multiplayer


The racing of Baja: Edge of Control is intense, to say the least. It focuses on the importance of the off-road and endurance sides of the game. The racing came with different tiers and different lengths. 

As opposed to having a thorough set of rules like some of the other racing games, Baja: Edge of Control allows racers to go at each other without feeling as if they are going to be penalized. Ultimately, it comes down to winning the race, whether it is a race against AI-opponents or other players who are partaking in the multiplayer side of the gaming experience. The controls are typical racing ones, making the transition to the game that much easier

Open World

Although Baja: Edge of Control is a major racing game, the true fun comes through any experience in the available open worlds. There are nine open-world options, and each allows players to have a true open-world experience. 

I am not an expert, but for a racing game, it felt as though it was ahead of its time because of how thorough the open-world maps were upon the initial release.  I remember one of the maps even had a rollercoaster, which back when it was initially released was great to see.

The gameplay never let me down because it was exactly what I expected it to be when I bought it. For the longest, it was between this game and Gran Turismo for me on the PlayStation system. Gran Turismo did have a leg up in some respects, particularly the customization and mpa options. However, Baja: Edge of Control was a masterpiece for the time it came out.

Baja racing

The Thrill of Baja

While Baja: Edge of Control received mixed reviews, the game deserves a 5 out of 5 stars. This is solely based on my experiences with the game and has nothing to do with any outside reasons. I simply loved the game, and in real life, I love the idea of off-road racing and long-endurance racing. 

The only thing the game would have benefited from would have been a lot more intensive dynamics. However, given that the game was released in 2008, it is a game perfect for its time. 

Additionally, the open-world capacity it handled was a spectacle to experience with friends when I was first introduced to the game. The open-world environment forced us to push our limits of gaming often to explore entire maps with the vehicles, which were not extremely fast due to the offroad environment. The open world also allowed us to make up our races based on the markers we identified. 

Overall, I highly recommend this game to gamers who are looking to experience a different type of racing game. It is very straightforward and ultimately brings players into an overlooked racing environment.

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