All 3 films have direct/adapted and subtle references to G1 etc in terms of plot, dialogue and events. For example in TF1 Jazz attacks Brawl is based on Kup vs Blitzwing in the 86 movie, ROTF with the harvester is based on a G1 episode when the cons want to harvest the suns energy. DOTM when the autobots are exiled is based on a G1 episode where they are exiled presumed killed then return undercover and save the day. Also when megatron sits on lincolns chair after destroying lincolns statue its similar to a G1 episode.
Now maybe its coinsidence or maybe intentional but either way Bay and Co have done a awesome job.