More than Meets the Eye: The Best and Worst Transformers Games Ever Made

Certain characters are popular enough to thrive from one generation to the next. Like Batman, Superman, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Transformers have fans of all ages.

For example, most of us born in the 80s will always have a soft spot for the Transformers. The toys, comics, and animated adventures of the robots in disguise kept millions of kids entertained, not to mention the awesome 1986 cartoon movie. Remember Hot Rod becoming Rodimus Prime? Epic.

Today, though, the Transformers franchise is still riding high, thanks in large part to the four hit movies Hollywood has  churned out in the past decade. Love them or loathe them, these pull in ridiculous amounts of cash and keep the characters in the public eye. The Transformers have also starred in plenty of video games, from 2D platformers to 3D epics. As technology has evolved, the games have become more ambitious, and generally better with it.

Still, that doesn’t mean they’ve all been great. Like many tie-ins based around licensed characters, Transformers games are a mixed bag

Autobots, Roll out: The Best Transformers Games

The Transformers universe offers developers a huge amount of material to play around with. Giant robots with distinctive looks and personalities, granted the ability to take two or more forms, in an explosive sci-fi setting – what’s not to love?

The best games have taken this concept and run with it. Here’s just a few of them.

Transformers: Devastation

Transformers-DevastationThe most recent Transformers console game, this is a fast-paced brawler starring the key players in both sides of the war. With the visuals based heavily on the classic G1 cartoon series, Devastation has been praised as the perfect game for long-time fans.

It’s colourful, faithful fun, and a must-play for those tired of the lazy movie tie-ins. It might not wow everyone, but it’s one of the more ambitious games based on the characters.

Transformers: War for Cybertron

Transformers-War-for-CybertronThe Transformers movies have been mainly Earthbound (except for a few minutes in Dark of the Moon), and so have the games based on them. War for Cybertron, though, gave us a chance to plough through Decepticons and Autobots alike on their iconic homeworld.

The transforming action is implemented well, with both their robotic and vehicle forms essential to overcome various situations.

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron

Transformers-Fall-of-CybertronThis sequel to War for Cybertron is bigger, better, and absolutely one of the best games based on the characters so far. There are stunning visuals, plenty of action-packed missions, and some great sequences that show real imagination.

One of the best sections sees Optimus Prime fighting alongside the gigantic Metroplex, an Autobot so huge he fills the screen. The story was also pretty great, and being able to play as Megatron is always welcome.

Transformers (2004)

Transformers-2004This is a classic. Released exclusively for the PS2, this was based on the Transformers: Armada series, and starred Optimus Prime, Red Alert, and Hot Shot. The gameplay was fluid, offered deep customization, and featured massive open environments. Everything in the game felt dynamic, powerful, and larger than life – see the level set aboard a ship, which turns out to be the Decepticon, Tidal Wave, in disguise.

Once Mr Wave transforms into his enormous robotic form, the player is thrown into a long, challenging boss fight. This innovative, atmospheric stage is just one of several great moments, stranding players on a tiny island surrounded by a dark ocean,.

No Transforming and Other Weirdness: The Worst Transformers Games

There are flaws with even the best Transformers games. However, some seem to be nothing but one big flaw from start to finish. Here’s our pick of the worst.

Mystery of Convoy and The Headmasters

The-Mystery-Of-Convoy-And-HeadmastersWe’ve lumped these together, as they’re basically the same. Which isn’t a good thing, by the way.

To be fair, making a great game about giant robots fighting it out in a variety of forms must have been a real challenge back in the earliest days of home consoles. However, Transformers: Mystery of Convoy and The Headmasters are both best forgotten.

Mystery of Convoy was known for its frustrating difficulty, lack of personality, and general bog-standard quality.

With no ability to transform or choose which Autobot to play as, The Headmasters doesn’t get off to the best start either. Stages featured fixed characters, with replacements being flown in as players lose lives.

Unless you’re a completist, these are best avoided

Cybertron Adventures

Cybertron-AdventuresThis Wii game is a basic on-rails shooter, which only allowed you to control a single arm, and limited vehicle-forms to set levels. The ability to transform at will (surely a basic feature in any Transformers game) was missing, which only made this seem so much worse than its sister title, War for Cybertron.

Hardcore fans of the characters might get something out of this, but there’s plenty of better options out there.

Human Alliance

Human-AllianceAs well as being able to transform as and when you like, a key component of any Transformers game is, well, actually playing as one of the robots themselves. Human Alliance, though, couldn’t get either of these right.

In this arcade shoot-em-up, players take on the role of a bland human working with the Autobots, blasting an endless stream of Decepticons. While producing an arcade shooter based on the series might not have been the easiest assignment ever, surely the developers could have found a way to cast players as one of the iconic characters in both their forms?

One to avoid.

What’s your favourite Transformers game? Let us know!