Nine Inch Nails aren't a band. Nine Inch Nails is one mortal man – Trent Reznor – on an eternal mission to explore sound in ways that continually advance his art (along with the boundaries of mainstream music) into unexplored realms.

He's really good at it.

Since emerging out of Cleveland during the late '80s with an inspired amalgam of industrial metal, pop-inspired hooks and millennial teenage angst, Reznor has redefined the possibilities of electronic music and become a full-on anti-hero in the process. Once the brooding, stringy-haired poster boy for self-loathing, Reznor and the sound of Nine Inch Nails evolved during the following two decades into something far more muscular and self-assured through fearless experimentalism and by ignoring accepted ideologies – both in the industry and in post-modern song craft. Now he's an Oscar-winning composer, a father and just as determined as ever to blow your mind through your ears – just in ways the rest of us probably can't comprehend yet.

In the gallery above, we rank each of Nine Inch Nails' albums from Worst to First – and if you don't agree that we put each album right where it belongs, try to remember we're all in this together.

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