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The Most Powerful Transformers Ranked

More than meets the eye! It may sound crazy, but the "Transformers" franchise has existed for over four decades. It's hard to believe that a show that essentially began as a way to market a repurposed line of Japanese toys has endured for that long, but welcome to nostalgia.

There have been several different versions of the "Transformers" story (and the individual characters) over that timeframe. The cartoons, the more recent "Transformers" films, the comics, the action figures — there is a huge amount of "Transformers" media out there, and keeping everything straight can be quite an undertaking.

With the Michael Bay directed "Transformers" pentalogy having wrapped in 2017, the franchise has taken a slightly lighter tone in the years since, with the debut of "Bumblebee" and continuations of the comics and animated series that have long made the franchise great. Taking place seven years after the events of "Bumblebee," 2023's "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" leans into the "Beast Wars" story.

Scouring the history of "Transformers" to try to determine which robots in disguise are truly the kings of the mountain, here's an attempt at a ranking. There's a lot of speculation, perhaps, as far as relative power levels go, but there's no real debate who is in the top tier. Let's roll out!

21. Bumblebee

Bumblebee clocking in lowest might seem like a snub, but it's not — the character has survived a franchise that a lot of characters haven't, so this entry is made with the utmost respect to 'Bee. What he lacks in the overwhelming strength of characters like Optimus Prime, he makes up for in sheer chutzpah. 

Appearing early on with the first generation of "Transformers" characters, he has long been considered the heart of the Autobots, making him indispensable for the group's morale in ways that would be difficult to quantify. There's no denying that his ability to stay optimistic, even in the most upsetting of situations, is practically a superpower in and of itself.

While he first appeared in the form of an adorable yellow VW Bug, he's been redesigned to incorporate more of a muscle car look, now appearing as a yellow Camaro with bee-like racing stripes. He has many of the same basic weapons as the other Transformers, including body separation abilities, an energy shield, plasma rifles, and rockets. Yet, as noted above, Bumblebee's true power comes from within. While his upbeat attitude infectious among the occasionally dour Autobots, Bumblebee is just as determined as the rest of them on the battlefield. They have regularly relied on his scouting abilities, as well as his superior marksmanship.

20. Arcee

Even in the often-confusing world of "Transformers" continuity, Arcee's story makes for a pretty wild ride. 

She's popped up in many incarnations over the decades since her initial appearance in 1986's "The Transformers: The Movie," making her one of the more difficult characters to track without flying fully off the rails. Noting how complicated its chronology can be, Hasbro launched an attempt at bringing various "Transformers" takes together under a shared continuity in 2010. This soft reboot saw what is perhaps the most definitive take on Arcee via "Transformers: Prime," where fans saw her stepping into more of a main character role for the first two seasons. As that take on Arcee blended a few details from the past and reimagined her in other ways, it seems likely that will be the basis of her character in "Rise of the Beasts."

Arcee is considered of the least physically intimidating Transformers, but her sense of determination makes her one of Optimus Prime's most trusted allies. In the "Prime" series, Arcee is able to transform into a blue motorcycle, projecting a hologram named "Sadie" as the driver to be less easily identifiable by humans and Decepticons. She is able to turn her hands into blades or blasters like many of her fellow Autobots, but her greatest strength might be the ability to achieve great things under pressure. Having lost friends in battle before, she's committed to making sure it never happens again — and that resolve is what makes her such a formidable foe.

19. Ironhide

This grizzled weapons expert of the Autobots is one of the franchise's longest running characters, dating back to that opening three-parter, "More Than Meets the Eye." One of Optimus Prime's oldest friends, his sheer tenacity has seen him survive countless major conflicts. 

More to-the-point and gruff than the others, it would be easy to dismiss him as a curmudgeon if he wasn't a true softie at heart. He's a fan favorite who has shown up in just about every "Transformers" adaptation to date, adding a serious dose of down-to-earth mentality to the crew. Though his specific continuity has shifted over the decades, he remains one of the tried and true believers in Optimus Prime's fight against the Decepticons.

Though Ironhide might not be the most powerful in a direct attack, he is the go-to of the Autobots when it comes to protection. Sporting Trithyllium-steel skin that makes him essentially invulnerable, he often serves as the bodyguard of Optimus Prime, stepping in to deflect attacks while the others leap into action. 

He is equipped for battle with a special gun, which is able to blast targets with any kind of liquid, favoring liquid nitrogen. Still, there is little denying that his greatest strength is an inability to call it quits, quite literally sticking to his guns regardless of what challenges arise.

18. Mirage

Another character hailing from the first generation of Autobots, the original form of Mirage was a bit different than the one in "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts." Although he's undergone several iterations at this point, he remains one of the most complicated Autobots. 

Hailing from wealth, he joined with the group in the fight against the Decepticons, but has long held sympathies across the board. Despite knowing that the Decepticons are wrong and must be stopped, he likewise disagrees with the methods of the Autobots, making him a bit of a wild card. With an arrogant but charming demeanor to top it all off, he remains one of the most interesting characters in Transformers history.

Along with that unique personality, Mirage has a highly individualized skillset. In accordance with his namesake, he can cast projections of himself to confuse enemies, harboring an ability to turn invisible and even emulate other Autobots. Mirage previously appeared in the form of a Ferrari 458, but for "Rise of the Beasts," he's a Porsche. 

Though this design harkens back to prior incarnations, it is worth noting that fellow Autobot Jazz was the one designed after a Porsche. Whether this means the film franchise will be merging these two fan favorites, or has more to do with behind-the-scenes technicalities, is unclear. Regardless, Mirage's subterfuge makes him one of the most powerful assets to the Autobots.

17. Airazor

As with many of the characters making their first live-action appearances in "Rise of the Beasts," the Maximal Airazor hails from the "Beast Wars" side of the "Transformers" universe. Her origins are a bit difficult to track, due to appearing in different iterations over the "Beast Wars," IDW comic series, toy lines, and Netflix's "War For Cybertron," but fortunately, her main characteristics have remained fairly consistent. 

Devoted to the cause, she leans into her sense of dry humor to retain a sense of calm regardless of how dangerous things get. Once paired with Tigatron, more recently a romance has been hinted between her and the morally dubious Blackarachnia in "War for Cybertron," granting her a sense of emotional complexity that makes her one of the most intriguing among the Maximals.

Often relied on in the fight against the Predacons for her skills as an "aerial reconnaissance expert," the falcon-imprinted Airazor is invaluable due to her ability to glean information at a distance. Able to recognize detail at 30,000 feet, Airazor's internal radar and ability to instantly relay 3D VR maps to her comrades have made her the MVP of many missions. While that would be enough to declare her a vital asset, she's also no slouch when in attack mode. Though she prefers to stick to the skies and avoid conflict whenever possible, her most awe-inspiring offensive tool is her talons, which she can use to slash enemies to shreds.

16. Grimlock

Grimlock is essentially a playground fantasy of a character. "What if it's like... a Transformer but also... a DINOSAUR?" He's a big, scary dude with a big, scary sword who can also turn into a big, scary T-Rex. If this were just a list of "most totally rad Transformers," Grimlock would take the top spot.

Luckily, Grimlock is a pretty solid fighter as well. He leads the Dinobots, a relatively small team that packs a pretty nasty punch. The Dinobots value strength and intensity, so it takes an extremely powerful leader to claim dominance over the rest of the group. Grimlock has shown off his fighting prowess on several occasions, and has held his own against and even defeated some of a veritable "Who's Who" list of Transformers.

However, he loses more often than not when he tangles with any of the big timers, and his prickly, instinctive nature makes it so he often gets in over his head when battling against physically superior foes. He's one of the more powerful "regular" Transformers, but there are some real oddballs on the way.

15. Galvatron

Depending on which timeline and version of "Transformers" you're looking at, Galvatron's power level can fluctuate wildly. Sometimes, he's little more than a modified version of Megatron. Other times, he has gained near omnipotence through a combination of outside forces, cunning, and force of will.

When Megatron was destroyed, he made a deal with Unicron (more on that shortly) to be reborn as Galvatron. Though Galvatron possesses all of Megatron's memories, the rebirth also shattered his psyche. As such, Galvatron is completely insane and will do whatever it takes to gain more power for himself.

Galvatron's quest for domination has led him to some extremely powerful, mythical artifacts that have made him almost invincible, even when battling the most dangerous beings in the universe. When he hits his highest levels of strength, even entire forces of the most powerful Transformers can do little to stop him. Like Megatron's arrogance, Galvatron's lust for power is his biggest downfall. He will throw his companions aside and break ancient taboos to achieve his goals — meaning almost everyone is allied against him.

14. Shockwave

All of the major Decepticons are powerful, including such heavy-hitters as Lockdown, Soundwave, and others. At the top of Megatron's list of cronies is Shockwave, one of the main antagonists of 2011's "Dark of the Moon." 

Rumored to be capable of defeating even Megatron in combat, this deadly scientist creates a cult of personality that leads to followers like "The Last Knight" villain Nitro Zeus committing acts of terror in his name even after his demise in "Bumblebee." Ultimately, his body was used by KSI to create the less-intimidating but still scary Two-Head, who died via hand grenade. That's probably the last to be seen of Shockwave, but at this point, his resilience is a superpower in and of itself.

Though his adherence to "logic" is a built-in character flaw that leads to his undoing, his misdeeds have had surprising longevity in the franchise. Shockwave's ability to influence others is put into play at various times, including when he uses his powers to create subservient clones of himself to fight for him during battles. He is able to transform into a tank, redirect blasts by opening portals, and fight Autobots to a standstill through hand-to-hand combat. Yet, the threat he poses is primarily in his ability to develop great weapons for the Decepticons, heading up nefarious schemes like Project Predicon, creating Cybermatter, and the restoration of the Omega Lock.

13. Megatron

"Decepticons... RETREAT!"

If it just came down to pure physical and mental ability, Megatron might be able to jump a few spots on this list. As the leader of the Decepticons, Megatron has proven time and time again that he can go toe to toe against any Transformer out there. He's powerful and strategic, and he truly believes in what he's fighting for.

That said, Megatron often fails when he should succeed because his arrogance and disdain for others comes back to haunt him. Megatron believes that Transformers are the most superior lifeforms in the universe, and any other creature that he deems "inferior" (like humans) is barely worth recognizing. This arrogance has led to countless plans failing due to Megatron overlooking a small detail. If he was able to see the big picture or recognize the threat that others pose to his plans, it's very possible that the Decepticons would have achieved their goals of universal domination long ago.

It probably wouldn't hurt if he kicked Starscream off the team, too.

12. Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime doesn't edge out Megatron and Grimlock on battle prowess alone — he's proven himself an extremely capable fighter time and time again, and his status as the leader of the Autobots isn't just some fluke. That said, Optimus Prime's true power comes from those intangible characteristics that also make him a good leader. He's courageous, thoughtful, strategic, and never underestimates his enemies.

These traits help Optimus Prime stand up to much more powerful forces. His drive and compassion help him stay in fights much longer than he should be able to, and he often demoralizes his foes simply because his will never breaks.

Optimus Prime is legendary in the Transformers universe for turning the tide of many conflicts on his sheer will and courage. He has sacrificed himself on countless occasions, and taken down many a "more powerful" foe by outmaneuvering them and relying on the help of his friends and allies. Optimus Prime can never be counted out of any fight.

11. Predaking

Predaking is what is known as a "Combiner," which is a Transformer made up of other Transformers. As such, his power level is significant — Predaking is a combination of the five other Predacons (Divebomb, Headstrong, Rampage, Razorclaw, and Tantrum). He is massive, extremely powerful, and one of the most dangerous hunters in the galaxy.

Predaking also has some other abilities that make him extraordinarily strong, but the one that stands out makes him a bit unique among other combiners. One of the drawbacks when a Transformer shifts into their Combiner form is all of them have to work together. The different Transformers are still independent beings and, if they disagree about which action to take, there isn't much they can do.

The five Transformers who become Predaking actually mold together into one consciousness, preventing that drawback. It makes for an extremely dangerous foe, capable of isolating and destroying his enemies. Predaking's main weakness is his lust for the hunt — he has been lured into more than a few traps when he thinks he's already won.

10. Defensor

Defensor is the Combiner version of the five Protectobots: Hot Spot, First Aid, Blades, Streetwise, and Groove. He isn't particularly strong on offense, but he does flex his power levels in other ways. For one, Defensor is one of the most intelligent and strategic minds on any battlefield. The Protectobots are all emergency responders, so they need to be able to analyze situations quickly and effectively in order to save lives.

He's no slouch on the battlefield, certainly, but Defensor has one other trick up his robotic sleeve — a massive, incredibly strong force field that can be projected up to 50 feet away from his body.

Defensor's force field takes a massive amount of energy to maintain, but it's an extremely powerful ability. The Autobots usually get in trouble when they're stretched too thin trying to protect everyone; Defensor earns a spot on the list because he bypasses that weakness entirely whenever he's on the battlefield.

9. Bruticus

This Transformer is basically the other side of the coin in relation to Defensor. He's made up of the five Combaticons: Onslaught, Vortex, Brawl, Blastoff, and Swindle. Each of these Decepticons transform into military vehicles and, when they all join together, become the extremely powerful Bruticus.

Bruticus possesses all sorts of advanced weaponry and is nearly impervious to attacks. Despite being a Combiner, each of the five Transformers that make up this monstrosity are all driven by similar instincts. Thus, it isn't very hard for them to find common purpose and work together in their Bruticus form.

Bruticus' central weakness is his intelligence — being driven solely by aggression makes him extremely suggestible and very, very dumb. He's easy to trick (as Starscream proved when Bruticus was first introduced) and will basically follow any orders that allow him to get into battle. His brute strength is unquestionable, making him a terrible threat — he just needs someone else to pull the strings for him.

8. Nightbird

Eagle-eyed viewers might have noticed a lightning-fast glimpse of Nightbird in the "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" trailer. Appearing in only one episode of the original cartoon, this is the kind of deep-cut they live to spot. "Enter the Nightbird" introduced viewers to Doctor Fujiyama, who created Nightbird for the dubious purpose of proving how great technology is and how helpful it can be to humanity. The cartoon showed surprising foresight by explaining that this "helpful" tech was immediately hijacked by Decepticons and used for evil. Though the Autobots ultimately defeat her, she remains in stasis, returning for "Universe: The Wreckers" and other brief appearances down the line, particularly in the IDW comics.

While some might assume that there will be changes in Nightbird's origin with a new take on the character, it'll be hard to improve much on the perfect concept of a nunchuck-wielding robot bent on destruction. Not a Decepticon or an Autobot but simply a robot programmed with the skills of a ninja, most of Nightbird's abilities lie in her hand-to-hand combat skills. Besides the nunchucks, she also wields a katana, but perhaps her greatest asset is her surprising charm. Megatron develops a crush in her first appearance, which allows her to evade the Autobots in service of the Decepticons.

7. Trypticon

If Trypticon cared a bit more, he'd be practically unstoppable. He's what's known as a Titan — in one form, he's a massive dinosaur, capable of defeating nearly any Transformer in hand to hand (or laser beam) combat. Even worse, his alternate form is a city-sized artillery platform, capable of launching massive amounts of firepower in an incredibly short amount of time.

Very few can stand up to Trypticon's insane size and weaponry, and entire teams of Autobots will generally use trickery and subversion in order to stand up to him — they know well that a head-on assault would be suicide. Despite being the ultimate weapon, Trypticon's heart is not often in the battle.

Trypticon hates the Autobots, but he also hates that he's used as a tool by the Decepticons. He has accepted his role as a deadly weapon, but he frequently becomes jaded or dispirited with the constant fighting he's involved in. This disinterest is one of the few things that gives the Autobots a chance against such a dangerous foe.

6. Metroplex

Metroplex is an Autobot Titan, like his Decepticon counterpart Trypticon. His alternate form is a massive city, and his Autobot form is a towering, intimidating figure that dwarfs almost any other Transformer in existence. He has three regular-sized Autobots — Scamper, Six-Gun, and Slammer — just to help him keep track of everything happening around him. Metroplex is just too big to monitor it all himself!

Metroplex is a highly skilled marksman and hand to hand fighter, capable of scrapping with nearly any foe. He is loyal, intelligent, and courageous as well, and the Autobots frequently rely on his judgment.

Metroplex's greatest trait, however, is his humility. Despite his massive size, fighting prowess, and intelligence, he never feels it is enough. He constantly wants to do better and improve, and he's always looking for ways to overcome obstacles and help make the world a better place. Even when the odds are against him (which is rare), Metroplex is constantly searching for ways to even things out and give the good guys the winning edge.

5. Omega Supreme

Omega Supreme is millions of years old. He once served as the guardian of Cybertron's biggest city. He serves as intergalactic transport for the rest of the Autobots. His alternate form is actually three different things: a huge tank and two military bases (a missile base and a missile defense base, of course).

Omega Supreme is seemingly the largest Autobot in existence, and he is overpowered beyond belief. His armor makes him invulnerable to all but the most powerful attacks, and he has enough firepower in both of his forms to defeat entire teams. In a one on one fight, he would crush nearly any opposition.

On top of all this, Omega Supreme has an incredible drive to protect and serve. He despises the destructive attitude of the Decepticons, and works tirelessly with Optimus Prime and the other Autobots to safeguard those who are in danger. Generally viewed as the final line of defense, he's powerful enough to handle most threats on his own.

4. Vector Prime

Really, you could put any of the "Primes" here — a group of the 13 original Transformers created to become masters of different aspects of the universe. Each of these beings commands almost godlike powers, but Vector Prime takes the cake for a few different reasons.

Vector Prime once hold the Matrix of Leadership, but he left Cybertron to become the guardian of time and space. He can warp both of these things with his powers, and he can travel through and observe the multiverse at will — allowing him to influence events across space, time, and alternate dimensions.

Like the rest of the Primes, Vector Prime is several billion years old, and his disconnect from regular space and time has left him with a bit of a disconnect from the rest of the universe. That said, his heart is in the right place and there is little that other Transformers can do to stop him once he decides on a plan of action.

3. Quintessa

Appearing in 2017's "Transformers: The Last Knight" as one of the film's main antagonists, Quintessa is a character with the potential to be the most powerful of all the Transformers. While there are plenty of claims she makes that may or may not be true, such as the one that posits her as the mother of the Cybertronian species, it's certain that she was one of the most entertaining aspects of a movie that is regularly derided by fans of the franchise. While the Autobots believe her to be deceased after Bumblebee's attack, the film's final sequences indicated that she is alive and well, passing her time in human disguise, presumably cooking up new nefarious schemes.

Quintessa's skillset is absolutely wild, even in a franchise full of immensely powerful characters, but it's easy to feel that her most valuable asset is the ability to play the long game. While the others get tangled up in battles, Quintessa tends to be looking to the next conflict, and the next, to gauge how the events will benefit her. This is amplified by abilities like holographic camouflage, hypnosis, and telekenesis, alongside her more physical attacks like energy projection and redirection. However, her most chilling talent is likely the power to transfigure the Cybertronians through her power of creation, quite literally reverting Galvatron to Megatron form to suit her needs in "The Last Knight."

2. Unicron

Most fans of "Transformers" will remember Unicron's appearance in the '80s animated film. This godlike Transformer is the most terrifying being in the universe. His entire reason to exist is to destroy everything until he is the sole remaining lifeform. He consumes entire worlds, breaking down everything they have and using it to boost his own capabilities.

Unicron can travel across the multiverse at will, and his presence is seen as a plague on reality itself. His powers are seemingly unlimited, and he has the ability to infiltrate and infest different aspects of the universe in his never-ending quest to snuff out life. He also seduces other beings under his thrall, granting them new powers (like he did with Galvatron) in exchange for their sworn fealty. Because of the power he can bestow, many accept his offers — despite knowing their destruction always lies at the end of the deal.

1. Primus

Brother to Unicron and the only being in the universe who can stand up to him, Primus is the stand-in for God in the "Transformers" universe. Primus created the Transformers, and a small part of him exists within all his creations. As the Transformers create and maintain most other aspects of the universe, Primus has his hands in nearly everything.

He exists across time, space, and separate realities. His physical manifestation exists as the Transformers' home planet of Cybertron. He has access to nearly all of the information in existence through his mainframe computer, Vector Sigma.

This wealth of knowledge available to Primus is what helps him edge out Unicron as the most powerful Transformer in existence. His ability to outthink and strategize circles around his sibling keeps the universe intact. His ability to exist across space and time gives him the edge whenever he's needed — Primus simply is, and no foe can ever counter that.