Despite everything that's come out since, I still view Optimus Primal toys from Beast Wars to be some of the best Transformers ever made. I'm still just as impressed as I was back then when I play with one now. The look, the stature, the play value. Just great figures. I'm also admiring the weirdness of some of the toys. Transmetal Optimus Primal's vehicle form is a hover board. That's just silly. Though seeing a gorilla fly through the air on a rocket powered hover board while wielding giant maces? Ok, that's still silly, but that's also pretty great.
I think a mistake a lot of people make when considering Transformers is adding in realism. Which... uh... is completely out the window on arrival. Alien robots hiding among Earth by disusing themselves as vehicles is far fetched, but what kind of disguise is a robot dinosaur, a ufo? It's silly, it's fun, just turn off your mind a little. Beast Wars... hey look a gorilla is fighting a dinosaur. It's fantasy and not far removed from the time that TMNT ruled the toy shelves. A surfing gorilla wasn't that unheard of. It's admittedly firmly rooted in it's time and that's ok with me.