Best Nine Inch Nails Albums

The Top Ten
1 The Downward Spiral

This album and the Broken EP define Trent Reznor and who he was in the 90s. Pretty Hate Machine was sort of like marking the end of the synthpop era of the 80s, and thus he wasn't exactly original, and The Fragile was marking the beginning of a new era in how he produces music. He has kind of been going the same way for the past decade or so, ever since he came out of rehab. This is why it is between this album and the Broken EP, which is the best work they have put out to date.

A masterpiece. The Fragile is also quite good, but this album was so creative in its destructive and volatile nature. It was the first work I ever heard by Trent.

2 The Fragile

This double CD is Trent at his very best. Yes, it's flawed, but the amount of stuff he throws at you that works is remarkable, whether it be the sheer brutality of the album's opener or sublime instrumentals that build into a crescendo of grief and emotional outpouring. Reznor is one of the few musicians who can whisper his message, yell it, scream it, or say nothing and still move you to the core. Yes, it's a band, but this is Reznor's baby through and through. Damn! I've just talked myself into playing it.

This album may not even have the majority of my favorite NIN songs, but it does have a seamless experience that evokes both wonder and pain. The opening track is an amazing rock song of hate, and throughout the album, it shifts into the emotions of desolation and despair, ending with The Great Below. As an album, it is perfect - and the nah nah nah's in The Day the World Went Away are definitely the best part!

3 Pretty Hate Machine

Although "With Teeth" is also great, this album is the best. Catchy but very dark album with memorable songs such as "Head Like a Hole" and "Terrible Lie."

To me, this is tied with The Downward Spiral. But, I'd give Pretty Hate Machine a slight edge.

1. Pretty Hate Machine
2. The Downward Spiral
3. With Teeth
4. Broken

This is what put them on the scene to begin with.

4 With Teeth

Great production and best beats. Very cohesive, yet it feels massive. Songs like "Everyday is Exactly the Same," etc.

So underrated. The production is amazing. And "Only" might be the most lyrically fascinating song by any band ever.

I never get tired of this album.

5 Broken EP

The heaviest hitting Nine Inch Nails album, Broken is the burned bridge and scorched earth between Pretty Hate Machine and everything that came after. It leads directly into The Downward Spiral and spawned Nine Inch Nails' only two Grammy-winning songs. Even though it's an EP and can be consumed in a brief listen, it belongs on the top shelf of the Nine Inch Nails discography, just under The Downward Spiral and The Fragile.

Broken has some of the heaviest tracks that NIN has ever recorded. I especially like Last and Gave Up most of all.

6 Hesitation Marks

Hesitation Marks is the best one. I personally like Trent Reznor's work post Year Zero the best.

7 Year Zero
8 Ghosts I - IV
9 The Slip
10 And All That Could Have Been
The Contenders
11 Bad Witch

I don't know why, but I really prefer this over any other NIN album.

12 Add Violence EP

Vote, guys. That one is one of the best of them. Love it. It's better than Not the Actual Events, definitely.

13 Not the Actual Events
14 Ghosts V: Together
15 Ghosts VI: Locusts
16 Closer to God
17 Further Down the Spiral
18 Fixed
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