This list has been hopping around the internet lately and everyone has been weighing in on its merit: 30 Best Fantasy Book Series
Could be “30 Most Heard Of Fantasy Book Series” just as easily, but perhaps that is exactly what qualifies ‘best’ in this instance: bringing joy to the most people. As works of art, well, such things are in the brain of the beholder.
My main addition to the discussion is to point out the frequency with which people throw out the entire list because of one entry. Either “________ wasn’t on there! VOID!” or “They included ________? Egregious! Detestable! Stupefying!” The greater the amount of variables in a list, the greater the likelihood of something not matching your personal list. That’s why you have a personal list. If you could get your exact point of view from someone else, people would. Yours will always be different. What such lists do is emphasize what the greater population for a given genre or subsection believes to be best, with a few personal favourites thrown in. The closer the content’s source publishers are to Pitchfork the more faith they put in their individual critics, the more power they give their unique take. The broader your platform, the more the publisher seeks to appease. In the former’s case, the list seeks to point out the unheard sometimes at the sake of quality, in the later’s case, the list seeks to emphasize the quality of success at the sake of diversification or unpopular opinion.
So my opinion on the list?
Pretty much every major fantasy series I’ve ever loved is there, no matter how old I was at the time. Can’t go wrong with that. I heard someone complain about a lack of Guy Gavriel Kay on the list, but we’re talking series here, and Kay is known, for the most part, for excellent one-offs. He’s the only exception.
Finally, don’t like a list? Get a voice and make your own.
I once made a qualitative list of my 100 favourite songs. It served its purpose.