Transformers is a massively successful media franchise, involving toys, animated shows, video games and live-action movies, whose core story revolves around a planetary war between alien robots known as Autobots and Decepticons.

The franchise is based on a popular 1980s Japanese transforming robot toy line, which spawned other media versions over the years. It gained wider international attention with Michael Bay’s five blockbuster films, underlined by awe-inspiring CGI and high-octane action. As a result, characters such as Bumblebee, Optimus Prime and Megatron became instantly recognisable.

For ease of understanding, the live-action Transformers movies can be divided into three parts. The first part, which can also be called the main trilogy, consists of the first three movies — Transformers (2007), Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) and Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011). All three have Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) as the principal human protagonist alongside the Autobots. The storyline progresses with Witwicky’s actions in saving the world with his Transformers allies, culminating in the battle of Chicago in the third film.

The second part consists of the fourth and fifth instalments in the franchise — Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) and Transformers: The Last Knight (2017). They continue the story of the Transformers after the battle of Chicago and reveal how the Transformers have been part of human history for thousands of years. Only two of the five major Autobots from the first three films are the main leads in the fourth and fifth instalments. And instead of Sam, who does not appear, Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), a single father, is the main human protagonist.

The third part is seen as the prequel to the other two parts. The first film in this part is Bumblebee (2018), which is directed by Travis Knight. Its main human protagonist is an 18-year-old girl named Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld) and its focus is on the titular character and his friendship with Charlie instead of the larger battle with Decepticons. Bumblebee is the most critically acclaimed film in the franchise and is the only Transformers movie on Rotten Tomatoes which is certified fresh with a rating of 91 per cent.

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (2023), the most recent film in the franchise, is presented as a sequel to Bumblebee and a prequel to the first film. Despite that, it somehow resets several aspects of Bay’s movies and is, thus, more like a reboot.

All Autobots and Decepticons have the ability to scan and transform into human-made vehicles when on Earth. This has helped the franchise showcase high-end cars, fast bikes and powerful military vehicles on the big screen, which became as popular with audiences as the guns-blazing action.

But irrespective of the box office success of the movies, it is a bit difficult to understand the Transformers mythology and keep track of all the types of Transformers. (Yes, Autobots and Decepticons aren’t the only ones!) However, it is fairly easy to pick the favourite Autobots – the heroes – from the many who are seen in the movies. Some of these characters have been voiced by famous actors, whose distinctive style is brought out brilliantly through the actions of the Autobots on the screen.

The famous Transformers Autobots in the movies


Appears in: All films in the Transformers franchise

Voiced by: Mark Ryan, Dylan O’Brien

Bumblebee is certainly the most fan-favourite character in the Transformers franchise and the only Autobot to have a titular solo film to his name — Bumblebee, the movie which reveals how he got his famous name.

Bumblebee is depicted as a charming character whose innate goodness makes him take great risks to protect the humans he sees as his friends as well as prove himself worthy of the Autobots legion. He is a powerful and highly competent combatant who has proved his worth in the stickiest of situations in the movies.

His alternate mode is the Chevrolet Camaro of various models across the main Transformers film. For the most part in Bumblebee, his alternate avatar is a 1967 Volkswagen Beetle.

Image credit: Paramount Pictures – © 2018 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved. HASBRO, TRANSFORMERS, and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.2/IMDb

Optimus Prime
Optimus Prime

Appears in: All films in the Transformers franchise

Voiced by: Peter Cullen

The leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime belongs to a special race of the Transformers known as Dynasty of Primes. One of the members of this race is Sentinel Prime, who is presented as an evil Autobot in the final film of the main trilogy. Optimus Prime is also one of the most distinguishable Transformers because of his wheeled avatar of an American semi-truck of various makes.

A very powerful Autobot, Optimus Prime has single-handedly terminated several Decepticons in the movies and has bravely fought both the mighty Megatron as well as Starscream at the same time. He was killed in battle once in the second film of the main trilogy but was revived by Sam only to emerge more powerful than before.

Besides his proven combat ability, Optimus Prime is known for his inspiring speeches in Cullen’s voice. Interestingly, Cullen was also the voice of Optimus Prime in the American animated series The Transformers (1984-1987) as well as other Transformers media such as video games and animated movies.

Image credit: © 2007 DreamWorks LLC and Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved. Hasbro, TRANSFORMERS and all related characters are trademark/IMDb


Appears in: Transformers, Revenge of the Fallen, Dark of the Moon

Voiced by: Jess Harnell

Ironhide is presented as the most powerful Autobot after Optimus Prime. Armed with every conceivable weapon in the Transformers armoury, Ironhide is equivalent to an army of a small country. He can take on any Decepticon, including Megatron, on his own.

Ironhide impressed fans from his very first scene in the first film of the Transformers franchise where he jokingly threatens Sam. This is why fans were shocked when Ironhide was killed by Sentinel Prime in the third film of the franchise. But the way he was killed by treachery also indicated that even the evil Prime knew very well that Ironhide would prove to be an insurmountable adversary to his nefarious purposes.

In the movies, Ironhide’s wheeled avatar is a GMC Topkick.

Image credit: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures – © 2009 DW Studios L.L.C. and Paramount Pictures Corporation. All Rights Reserved. HASBRO, TRANSFORMERS and all related character/IMDb


Appears in: Transformers: The Last Knight

Voiced by: Jim Carter

To some fans, Cogman is one of the most famous Transformers ever, despite having appeared in just one film. Many believe that Carter’s performance as Cogman was the most exciting thing in The Last Knight.

There are two reasons for his phenomenal popularity. The first is that he is human-sized in appearance and yet is as powerful as most other gigantic Autobots. In fact, he shows a glimpse of it when he hilariously snaps a finger of Crosshairs.

The second is that though he displays a sociopathic tendency, he is a deeply loyal butler to Sir Edmund Burton (Anthony Hopkins) and protects him like a capable bodyguard.

Cogman does not have a vehicular version like the others but is a brilliant driver, as is seen in an iconic chase sequence that would make fans of The Italian Job (1969) proud of him.

Image credit: Paramount Pictures/Bay F – © 2017 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved. HASBRO, TRANSFORMERS, and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.2/IMDb


Appears in: Transformers, Revenge of the Fallen, Dark of the Moon, Age of Extinction

Voiced by: Robert Foxworth

The medical specialist of the Autobots, Ratchet, whose transformed variant is a Hummer H2, is the voice of logic and uses his deep knowledge of things to tackle situations, unlike the straight-to-action mode that most others of his kind preferred. He was among the first four Autobots to land on Earth after receiving Bumblebee’s signal in the first film. He tried to revive Bumblebee’s voice and was of aid to the Autobots multiple times, including turning a barely alive Optimus Prime into a more powerful robot than he was before in Revenge of the Fallen.

Though not always in fighting mode, Ratchet displayed great courage and conviction in times of need. He was hunted down and killed by a paranoid group of heavily armed human army, who he didn’t want to hurt, with the assistance of Cybertronian assassin Lockdown when he refused to reveal the location of Optimus Prime in Age of Extinction.

Image credit: IMDb

Hot Rod
Hot Rod

Appears in: Transformers: The Last Knight

Voiced by: Omar Sy

Hot Rod has a quintessential French accent and, perhaps logically, went around in his alternate avatar of Citroën DS. He serves as the secret bodyguard of Oxford University professor Viviane Wembly (Laura Haddock), a descendant of the wizard Merlin posing as her car, before revealing to her his original identity. He, thereafter, takes the vehicular identity of a Lamborghini Centenario LP770-4.

Hot Rod is a seasoned veteran in warfare. He is brothers-in-arms with Bumblebee, having served with the latter in World War II. Hot Rod is famous for his unique weapon, which can slow down time to a crawl. His weapon was extremely useful on several occasions when the Autobots went against the entire Decepticon force at the climax of the movie.

Image credit: Paramount Pictures/Bay F – © 2017 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved. HASBRO, TRANSFORMERS, and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.2/IMDb


Appears in: Age of Extinction, The Last Knight

Voiced by: John Goodman

The brash Hound easily slipped into the role that the great Ironhide once held in the Autobots team after joining the group with his two friends in Age of Extinction.

In his robot form, Hound, who is a member of a special forces Transformer squad known as the Wreckers, looks like a very intimidating Autobot. He has a rotund appearance, but that does not affect his agility and combat capabilities in the slightest bit. Fans love the way he holds a long bullet as a cigar between his teeth.

It is not clear how many guns he has, but the movies depict him launching attack after attack on Decepticons with a phenomenal arsenal of weapons that he easily carries on him. What makes him especially useful to Autobots is that, in his second cinematic appearance, he also doubles up as their medic.

Hound has had two different avatars in the two films — Oshkosh Defense Medium Tactical Vehicle in Age of Extinction and Mercedes-Benz Unimog military ambulance in The Last Knight.

Image credit: IMDb


Appears in: Age of Extinction and The Last Knight

Voiced by: John DiMaggio

A buddy of Drift and Hound, Crosshairs is perhaps the only known paratrooper in the Transformers film franchise. He wears a cape, which he uses as a parachute to air-drop himself into battles and ambush his enemies out of the blue. He is an expert marksman and has distinguished himself as a sniper. He is also tactically devastating with other small arms, especially sub-machine guns. At the same time, he also serves as a mechanic for the team.

Crosshairs is also one of the most easily recognisable Autobots after Optimus Prime and Bumblebee. This is because of the attractive deep green colour of his alternate form — a Corvette Stingray C7.

Image credit: IMDb


Appears in: Age of Extinction and The Last Knight

Voiced by: Ken Watanabe 

When Drift made his first appearance in Age of Extinction, he is seen as a double-changer — Transformers who have more than one alternate avatar. In that film, Drift converted into a blue Bugatti Veyron and Sikorsky S-97 Raider Helicopter. In his second appearance, which is in the film The Last Knight, Drift is seen converting only into a Mercedes-AMG GT R car.

Drift is hailed as one of the greatest Transformers in the mythology. He was once a ruthless Decepticon who had a change of heart after witnessing the carnage he inflicted. His past is not shown in the movies, where he is first seen in the company of two other powerful Autobots — Crosshairs and Hound, spending his days in hiding before Optimus Prime unites them all.

Drift is perhaps the most disciplined of all Transformers. He is depicted as a Samurai and wields a large katana. An expert in hand-to-hand combat, he is also a skilled tactician.

Image credit: IMDb


Appears in: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Bumblebee, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts

Voiced by: Grey DeLisle, Liza Koshy

Arcee was supposed to be part of the first Transformers movie, but her scenes were cut. Nevertheless, she joined the squadron in the climactic battle against the Decepticons in Revenge of the Fallen, though the appearance was a minor one. She made a cameo appearance in Bumblebee.

The character is seen as part of Optimus Prime’s core team in Rise of the Beasts, whose trailers reveal that she is a skilled sharpshooter and extremely agile combatant. It is for the first time that Arcee, who is immensely popular among fans of the animated versions and toys, is presented as a major character.

Her vehicular modes are motorcycles. She transforms into a pink Ducati 848 in her first appearance and transforms into a red-white Ducati 916 in Rise of the Beasts.

(Hero image: Industrial Light & - © 2014 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved. HASBRO, TRANSFORMERS, and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.2/IMDb; Featured image: Industrial Light & - © 2014 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved. HASBRO, TRANSFORMERS, and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.2/IMDb)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: Who are the members of the Autobots?

Answer: The members of the Autobots in 'Transformers' movies include Jazz, Ratchet, Ironhide, Sideswipe, Jolt, Arcee, Roadbuster, Topspin, Leadfoot, Hound, Drift, Crosshairs, Cogman, Hot Rod, Brawn, Mirage, Bumblebee and Optimus Prime.

Question: How many Autobots are there in the 'Transformers' movies?

Answer: At least 18 Autobots have appeared in the 'Transformers' movie franchise.

Question: Which is the best Autobot from the 'Transformers' movies?

Answer: Some fans hail Bumblebee as the best Autobot in the Transformers movies. Others believe Optimus Prime is the finest Transformer.

written by.

Manas Sen Gupta

Manas enjoys reading detective fiction and writing about anything that interests him. When not doing either of the two, he checks Instagram for the latest posts by travellers. Winter is his favourite season and he can happily eat a bowl of noodles any time of the day.
A Definitive Ranking Of The Best Autobots In The Transformers Movies
Never miss an update

Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest updates.

No Thanks
You’re all set

Thank you for your subscription.