Now that the fifth entry of the billion dollar movie franchise Transformers: The Last Knight is upon us, the Michael Bay-directed action showcases aren't showing any signs of slowing down. Especially since there are already two more films planned after this one. It's not all bad new for fans though, because there is a new animated TV series based on the original Generation 1 series and toyline coming too.
Unfortunately, many of the video games based on the line of Transformers toys (that started the franchise back in 1984) haven't reached the same heights set by the quality of the Generation 1 cartoons, or the box office success of the film franchise.
Despite the franchise being almost perfect for a line of video games, many of the Transformers games have been mediocre or plain terrible. There have been so many nostalgic gamers and film fans who grew up watching the original cartoons have found that sense of nostalgia completely shattered either by Michael Bay's interpretations or video game tie-ins that failed to live up the expectations.
Luckily, for gamers not all of the Transformers titles have been bad, so here are 8 of the best along with 7 of the worst.
15 Best: Transformers Animated: The Game
Transformers Animated: The Game was released in 2008 for the Nintendo DS, and is based on the stylized animated series of the same name.
You get to play as three of the Autobots: Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and Bulkhead, with each level tailored toward each character's strengths and abilities. Most of the gameplay is focused on 2D platforming elements, with some 3D transforming elements there too.
Despite the game's low budget (and being on an aging handheld platform), Transformers Animated: The Game is a very solid game that offers a decent challenge for fans of the franchise and gamers in general.
14 Worst: Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen
Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen is based on the movie of the same name. Surprisingly, being a tie-in, there's very little of the two and half hour film's story found in the game.
Despite Transformers that resemble the characters on the big screen, the environmental visuals are very bland and dull. These drab visuals are accentuated by the game's basic and repetitive hack and slash mechanics, and extremely frustrating transforming abilities.
The game did have a fairly decent online mode, but even that wasn't enough to raise Revenge Of The Fallen from the depths of mediocrity.
13 Best: Revenge Of The Fallen Autobots/Decepticons DS
Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen The Game was the Nintendo DS version of the blockbuster movie. Unlike its bigger cousin on home consoles (like the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360), the Nintendo DS version is actually a decent game. Revenge of the Fallen proves once again that the small screen was the better home for everyone's favorite Robots in Disguise.
The Autobots version of the game puts you control of several Autobots — ranging from Bumblebee, Optimus Prime, Ironhide, and Ratchet as they attempt to stop the Decepticons from taking over the world. In addition, the Decepticons version puts you in control of Barricade, Brawl, Blackout, Starscream, and Megatron.
The gameplay is a 3D free-roam based action game where you switch between robot and vehicle with ease. Also, the game boasts a large amount main missions and side quests for you to complete in order to level up your chosen robots.
12 Worst: Dark Of The Moon
Transformers: Dark Of The Moon is another action game based on the film of the same name. Despite making a huge profit at the box office, the film wasn't very well received by critics, and unfortunately, the accompanying game continued that tradition.
The game acted as a prequel story to the film, but sadly, the game's storytelling was less than stellar. It's made worse by the boring and repetitive mechanics, as you work your way through linear pathways from start to finish.
The single player is short and unsatisfying, multiplayer a waste of time, and you could never shake the feeling that the game was rushed to release. Dark Of The Moon is best avoided.
11 Best: Transformers: G1 Awakening
G1 Awakening is a well-balanced turn-based strategy game for mobile devices. The touch-screen title has quite a few similarities to the fantastic Advance Wars series.
There's an absorbing single-player game to keep players occupied, and an arena mode that allows you to battle someone in a local multiplayer mode. The arena mode adds fun little challenges too, which require certain conditions to be met before winning the battle.
Transformers G1 Awakening has the perfect balance of staying true the source material and having engaging gameplay, which makes it a game that any fan of the franchise should try.
10 Worst: Rise Of The Dark Spark
Another Transformers tie-in game based on the movies which is (unsurprisingly) terrible. Transformers: Rise of Dark Spark is an action game that was released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC.
Releasing after The Fall Of Cybertron, one might have expected that this game would have incorporated more of the same. Instead, it tried to blend elements of the previous tie-ins and the much better Cybertron games, but instead of being a best of both worlds it ended up being a complete mess.
Additionally, the game's uneven difficulty, stripped-down, bare-bones gameplay mechanics, terrible visuals, and subpar storytelling makes this another Transformers game to avoid.
9 Best: Transformers Prime: The Game
Transformers Prime: The Game is based on the most recent iteration of the long-running cartoon series of the same name.
The game is packed with content. Its combat is immensely satisfying, levels are quasi-open environments ripe to be explored, and there are plenty of driving missions to satisfy fans. You'll take on these missions playing as Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Arcee, and Bulkhead.
The game was released on the Wii U, Wii, and 3DS, but the Wii U version is the one to choose because it eliminates the annoying waggle controls of the Wii and features an obvious graphical boost over the handheld.
8 Worst: Transformers: The Game
Transformers: The Game is the first video game to tie in with Michael Bay's movies and is probably the worst game linked to the big screen iterations.
The game has awful broken combat, equally bad driving sections, and no real distinctions between the varying Transformers. As a result, the missions lack any definitive structure. Even the cutscenes look abysmal and barely match the standard of early low budget PlayStation 2 games.
It's almost hard to believe that Traveller's Tales, the developers responsible for the excellent Lego games were responsible for this mess. One can only assume that they were rushed by the publishers to coincide with the release of the film.
7 Best: Transformers: War for Cybertron
After the previous horrific movie tie-ins, you would be forgiven for avoiding War For Cybertron. Surprisingly, such a decision would result in missing out on one of the best Transformers games ever made.
The game's story is set a thousand years before events of the Generation 1 cartoons, and is officially accepted as canon by Hasbro. War for Cybertron finally show's fans what happened in the final days of the Transformers homeworld Cybertron.
The game does a great job of tapping into nostalgia while bringing together solid melee gameplay, impressive visuals and cover mechanics that compete with some of the best third person shooters in the genre.
6 Worst: Beast Wars: Transformers
Beast Wars was a spin-off cartoon series from the original Transformers series and featured robots could transform into beasts.
The game features hideous graphics even for a PlayStation 1 game. Moreover, its awkward and confusing mission structure doesn't give the player any sense of direction. What's worse is you're actually punished for using the character's robot form.
Furthermore, the sloppy controls and terrible animations are just too hard to ignore, when you consider that this was the same year that Ocarina of Time and Resident Evil 2 was released it becomes very telling how much of a rush job this game really was.
5 Best: Transformers: Devastation
Transformers: Devastation is one of the best games in the franchise and was developed by Platinum Games, the talented creators behind Bayonetta, Nier, and Metal Gear Rising.
Devastation is pure fan service, because it manages to capture the look and feel of the original Generation 1 series with such finesse that the cartoons feel like they've come to life on your gaming screen.
The game puts you in control of one of five Autobots: Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Wheeljack, and Grimlock, who are armed with an array of upgradeable melee and ranged weapons.
The boss battles in the game are fantastic, and the controls really make the most of the transformation features that transitions nicely from a racing game, to melee fighter and platformer. Even if you're not a fan of Transformers, this game has Platinum's stamp all over it, and any fan of action games should find something to love with this game.
4 Worst: Transformers: Cybertron Adventures
Like War For Cybertron, Transformers: Cybertron Adventures is a story-based prequel, set before the events of Generation 1 cartoon and comic series. It was released exclusively for the Wii.
However, unlike War For Cybertron, Cybertron Adventures is an awful game on every level. There's no real gameplay to speak of, because you aren't in control of your characters and the game acts like a cover to cover third-person on-rails shooter. To make things worse, hit detection and aiming are terrible (more or less negating the entire point of playing the game).
The game is also extremely buggy. One particularly egregious bug results in your character's line of sight permanently locking onto an object, which makes progress nearly impossible, and forces players to restart the game.
3 Best: Transformers
The PlayStation 2 version of Transformers, based on the Armada cartoons from that era, was released in 2004 and remains one of the best Transformer video games ever made.
Surprisingly, the game still looks very good considering it was released on a system that's two generations old. The open-world looks great too, with equally impressive draw distances, and fantastic looking character models.
The boss battles can still compete with the best of current gen greats. Especially the confrontation with Tidal Wave, a battleship that transforms into a giant Decepticon bigger than a skyscraper.
If you still have an old PlayStation 2 you can dust off, and you're Transformers fan this title is definitely worth seeking out, 14 years on and the game still stands the test of time.
2 Worst: Beast Wars: Transmetals
Beast Wars: Transmetals was a Transformers fighting game on the Nintendo 64, and has the unfortunate distinction of being one of the worst (if not the worst) Transformers game ever made.
It was developed by Takara, the team behind the awful PlayStation game: Transformers: Beast Wars. Just like the PS1 game, the visuals look like they were thrown together in a hurry using the least amount of polygons they could get away with.
The hit detection was non-existent, and the main focus of the game was to wait around and charge up your robot to perform an unblockable attack. Additionally, the sound is incredibly bad, with the soundtrack was even worse — unless you like the idea of listening to low-quality J-pop renditions of the show's theme tunes.
Unfortunately, even fans of the Beast Wars series won't be able to find anything to enjoy in this abysmal mess because Transmetals has no redeeming qualities at all.
1 Best: Fall Of Cybertron
Fall of Cybertron was the sequel to High Moon's War For Cybertron, and is everything a great Transformers game (and a great sequel) should be. Subsequently, the game manages to build upon more of the nostalgic goodness that made it so great in the first place.
Fall of Cybertron continues building on the lore and story of the previous game. Playing as an Autobot or Decepticon will give players a wildly different experience, which is a huge improvement over the original game. It also allows for a more focused and entertaining experience overall.
The visuals look great, but a special mention should go to the game's sound design, which is a perfect excuse to turn up your surround sound system (or wear an expensive headset). All the signature sounds and themes will just blow you out of your chair. Fall of Cybertron is a great game overall and a must for fans young and old.