The Transformers franchise has been ongoing for almost 40 years now. In fact, the newest addition to the franchise Transformers: Rise of the Beasts was recently released in theaters. Throughout its multi-decade existence, hundreds of characters have been introduced in games, comic movies, and even toy-exclusive characters. The abilities, personal histories, and overall mythology of the entire series combined with media and merchandising have helped the entirety of the Transformers universe reach an estimated $29.6 billion dollars, firmly setting it as one of the top 15 most profitable media franchises of all time.

Updated July 5, 2023: This article has been updated to include more Transformers and see how they stack up against one another.

The franchise has been running for so long and has introduced a wide array of characters over various animated series, toylines, and films. Characters like Bumblebee, Arcee, and Starscream are fan favorites, but when it comes to power, they do not crack the top list. Who are the most powerful Transformers in the franchise? Take a look and see which robots in disguise are the strongest.

15 Ironhide

Ironhide Transformers
Sunbow Productions

Ironhide is one of Optimus Prime's oldest soldiers and friends. The two worked together on the docks when Optimus was still known as Orion Pax. One of the strongest Autobots there is both in physicality and firepower, Ironhide is not one to ever run from a fight. He is a fighter until his bitter end, as seen in The Transformers: The Movie, where an Autobot ship is massacred, and he is mortally wounded.

In one last feeble attempt to thwart Megatron's plan, he wraps his hands weakly around Megatron's legs, only to see the signature fusion cannon of the Decepticon leader pointed directly to his head before uttering the phrase "Such heroic nonsense." A very tragic but fitting end to one of the Autobots' toughest warriors. In the live-action Transformers film series, he is the Autobot weapon specialist and holds his own against many Decepticons until he is killed in a surprise attack by traitor Sentinel Prime in Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

14 Soundwave

Soundwave Transformers
IDW Publications

One of the most loyal soldiers in the Decepticon army, perhaps second only to Skywarp in that department, Soundwave is not only a capable warrior and is a major fan-favorite. This isn't a popularity contest, but in this instance, he can back it up. Sporting a crew of cassette soldiers with him such as Ravage, Ratbat, Rumble, and many more, Soundwave can cause destruction on several wavelengths.

Related: Transformers: 10 Strongest Autobots in the Live-Action Franchise, Ranked

His speakers can disrupt enemy audio sensors, he is an effective spy, as are his minions, and his firepower comes in handy as well. Soundwave even manages to serve Galvatron in later seasons showing loyalty to the overarching Decepticon cause more than anything else.

13 Springer

Transformers Springer
IDW Publishing

First introduced in The Transformers: The Movie, Springer proves more than a capable warrior from the start. Getting in the thick of things and protecting his comrades, as well as helping Arcee to transform Autobot City to help fight back against the Decepticon invasion, Springer, a triple changer, is a capable fighter in hand-to-hand combat and munitions. His heroics are on full display throughout the movie and the rest of the third season of Transformers.

These actions do not go unnoticed by Rodimus Prime: for a brief moment in The Five Faces of Darkness, early in Season 3, Rodimus felt he may succumb to his wounds and was prepared to pass the matrix of leadership to Springer. The moment ultimately never happens because Rodimus revives, but the fact that Springer's actions spoke so loudly etches him a well-deserved spot on this list.

12 Sixshot

Transformers SixShot
IDW Publisher

Sixshot's strength and aggression are so overwhelming in the short time he is in the American G1 Transformers that it earns him a spot on the list. His actions are swift, his attacks calculated. In fact, the first time the audience see's him in The Rebirth, the only episode of America's fourth season, he damages six Autobots swiftly as he transforms into his unprecedented six alternate forms. As G1 continues in Japan, his power is even more impressive as he manages to kill Ultra Magnus, one of the Autobot's most fierce and honorable warriors. Few characters have made as much of an impact as Sixshot in such a short time.

11 Jetfire

Jetfire Transformers
Sunbow Productions

When first introduced into the Generation 1 series, Jetfire is a Decepticon. Fresh out of the arctic ice, Starscream discovered the energy signal of his former friend and scientist. Upon leading an expedition to retrieve him, the Autobots show up, and a battle ensues. Jetfire does not agree with the methods employed by the Decepticons and is punished, which leads him to switch sides.

His sheer size, power, and air combat skills gave the Autobots a much-needed boost in their forces in the early seasons of the show. His firepower is overwhelming at times as the giant warrior becomes greatly and quickly, respected by his new comrades.

10 Overlord

Overlord Transformers
Sunbow Productions

Not technically a combiner, Overlord is the combined form of Giga and Mega, a tank and airplane, and is incredibly powerful. Not seen in any episodes of the American G1 series at all, it isn't until Masterforce, the second Japanese series that continues G1, that Overlord makes his presence known. Instantly, he dispatches Ginrai, a newer form of Optimus Prime, and leaves him for dead.

He gets the better of Ginrai a couple more times before the Autobots have an answer in developing the Godbomber to combine with Ginrai. Still, Overlord's power is incredible as he can produce tornadoes, split into his two individual Ultra Magnus forms, and possesses enormous physical abilities.

9 Ultra Magnus

Ultra Magnus Transformers
IDW Publication

First introduced in "Scramble City," a short episode aired only in Japan (used to introduce a couple of upcoming key characters for The Transformers: The Movie), Ultra Magnus is an incredible warrior. His greatest foe, Cyclonus — who would be on this list save for Overlord — shares a sense of honor that even as a Decepticon is noticed as well as respected. In addition to having that same, strong sense of honor and integrity, Magnus boasts physical size, incredible firepower, selflessness, and a barrage of other traits.

He knows that he is powerful and uses that to his advantage to help comrades in need, often running into battle to rescue injured Autobots. Yes, Sixshot does kill him off in the Japanese continuation, but he had been dispatched before in the movie and was rebuilt all the same. A character who cheated death once and who has no sense of self-preservation certainly deserves a place on this list.

8 Shockwave

Shockwave Transformers
Hasbro Productions

The One-Eyed Guardian of Cybertron, Shockwave, is so incredibly powerful Megatron left him alone in charge of the entire planet of Cybertron while the Decepticons went after the Autobots. While Soundwave and Starscream serve as Megatron's Earth commanders, it is Shockwave who is Megatron's true second-in-command.

His arm cannon vaporizes whatever it touches, as seen several times in the series. Indeed, Shockwave may even be more powerful than Megatron and, what's more, doesn't care about leading the Decepticons. Shockwave, in almost every iteration, serves one master: logic. His ruthlessness, firepower, and lack of emotions combine to make him a killing machine that the Autobots do not enjoy dealing with.

7 Grimlock

Grimlock Transformers
Sunbow Productions

Created with Sludge and Slag, Grimlock rounded out the first set of Dinobots who debuted in S.O.S. Dinobots. Later joined by Swoop and Snarl, the group has been a fan-favorite ever since. Grimlock, certainly in the first two seasons, is the strongest of all the Transformers. Upon first being created, his savageness, brute strength, and heavy armor combined with low intellect make him an unstoppable force that almost kills Optimus Prime himself.

Related: Transformers: The Difference Between Optimus Prime and Optimus Primal, Explained

Grimlock, as limited as his intelligence is, later realizes that Megatron is using him and turns his fury on the Decepticon leader. Grimlock is so effective as a living weapon that after the Dinobots rejoin the Autobots after a short vacation, the Decepticons game-plan around the powerful dinosaurs, especially Grimlock. Grimlock's status as a powerful Transformer is so clear that in the marketing for Transformers: Age of Extinction, the presence of the Dinobots was a major selling point, and the arrival of Grimlock allows Optimus Prime to turn the tide of battle.

6 Megatron

MOV_Megatron
Sunbow Productions

Megatron is a force to be reckoned with in Transformers lore. The character has always been present in every iteration of the franchise. Sometimes as the main antagonist, others as the looming threat waiting to make itself known to his rivals. Megatron's past has been explored in the expanded continuity of the franchise. The cartoonish quest to become the ultimate conqueror has been replaced with a compelling background as a revolutionary seeking an equal society in Cybertron.

His rivalry with Optimus Prime is legendary and spans millions of years, but so did his friendship with the meek academic that was Orion Pax, the being who would become the leader of the Autobots after his revolt. Megatron is mighty, arrogant, unforgiving, and detached. The millions of years he's been fighting have killed any semblance of idealism within him. He packs enough firepower in any form he adopts, and his ability to keep creating new schemes after being defeated speaks volumes about his resentment towards the Autobot leader.

5 Omega Supreme

MOV_Omega
Sunbow Productions

Despite being considered the muscle of the Autobots by many, Omega Supreme is quite a complex character. Before the Cybertronian Civil War, Omega was the guardian of Crystal City on the cybernetic planet with his allies, the Constructicons. After Megatron turned them to the dark side, they convinced their old friend to leave his post and fight alongside the Autobots, only to destroy the city under his protection. The event created great hatred in the Titan, who vowed to wage war against the Decepticons until they were defeated.

Omega Supreme is a triple changer, able to transform into a battle station, a rocket launcher, and a spaceship. While she's near invincible, he also consumes a lot of Energon to stay functional. That's the reason why he's mostly relegated to transport missions and logistics, but he's able to fight the most formidable foes in his primary form. In the main continuity, he manages to achieve revenge against the Constructicons, but he remains at the beck and call of Optimus Prime whenever he needs his talents.

4 Trypticon

MOV_Trypticon
Sunbow Productions

Trypticon is a gigantic Decepticon city and a force of devastation and chaos. Created by the Quitessons and the Constructicons, the psyche of Trypticon was compromised from the start. The demonic brute received the menacing shape of a dinosaur, but he hated his purpose. This hate grew exponentially and totally out of control. His deranged mind barely allows him to tell friends from foes. He finds the notion of the unending war fought in Cybertron boring and hollow, but Megatron's promises of rampant destruction keep him in check.

This lack of reliance has made the Decepticons wary of their sentient city, preferring to build quarters somewhere else and only summoning the giant when it's deemed necessary. Trypticon only fights when Metroplex is summoned, as he's the only worthy foe he's ever known. This would remain unchained in the G1 show and most of the multiple continuities recounting the story of the Transformers and their ongoing war.

3 Metroplex

MOV_Metroplex
IDW

Metroplex is the Autobot city and the ultimate weapon in Optimus Prime's arsenal. Unlike Trypticon, Metroplex is ancient and was built with the sole purpose of being the safe keeper of the Autobots. The towering robot was called into service after the death of Optimus Prime by his newfound leader Rodimus Prime. He proved to be a valuable asset by offering shelter to the dwindling forces of the Autobots right after the Unicron fiasco and helped defeat Trypticon multiple times.

The massive size of Metroplex cannot be understated. The mighty robot is a triple changer, able to switch forms from city to battle station to full robot more. Unlike other colossal Transformers, he only acts on command, but his motion process is self-sufficient after being commanded to defeat a foe. He often thinks by himself and offers advice when required, but he only answers to the holder of the Matrix of Leadership.

2 Optimus Prime

MOV_Optimus
Sunbow Productions

The iconic Autobot leader, Optimus Prime, is a force to be reckoned with. The leader of the Autobots began his life as an academic scholar in the golden era of Cybertron under the codename Orion Pax. He was friends with Megatron for millions of years until their divisive philosophies put them at odds. After fighting in the war, he found himself in an unwanted leadership position and has led the Autobots ever since.

While the G1 cartoon barely explores the source of the ongoing conflict between Autobots and Decepticons, the expanded lore and the unique responsibilities of Optimus Prime as a leader. As the bearer of the Matrix of Leadership, he was chosen to lead the conflict. The Matrix also gave Orion unique command over several weapons and a makeshift upgrade courtesy of the Matrix itself. His weapon arsenal is vast, his strategic mind unparalleled, and he commands the Titan with the authority granted by his title.

1 Unicron

Unicron Transformers
Hasbro

Unicron is easily the most powerful Transformer around. First appearing in the 1986 Transformers: The Movie and was voiced by the late-great Orson Welles, this planet-sized Transformers is similar to the Marvel Universe character Galactus, a god-like figure who consumes planets. He recently appeared as a major threat in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, and it appears he will be a recurring threat in future movies. Since he is bigger than a planet, Unicron is traditionally treated as the big bad of the entire franchise, the climactic showdown the Transformers need to reckon with.