About a year ago I successfully played a prank on the Internet, and the results were better than I expected, and I thought it did a pretty good job of explaining why I have such a strong dislike for ‘Top X Lists’, but I figured I could expand on that with a more generalized tack.
And with that I’d like to present: The top five reasons why your Top X list is dumb and wrong
5. Lists are lazy. All Top X lists, including this one, are lazy. They take very little effort to produce and are really just filler. All you need is some space to fill, a desire to not really talk in depth about anything, and a wacky topic, which brings me to…
4. Topics are getting wacky. There have been so many Top X Lists that it’s getting tougher to find a way to connect ten or so seemingly unconnected things. Stuff like, “Top 13 games where the number of powerups you can get is a prime number” or “Top 7 cartoon characters based on ancient Greek cartographers” is becoming the norm.
3. Your rankings are wrong. No matter your methods, about half the people who read your list will find something wrong with it. You ranked something dumb as super-high, or left something off the list that obviously should have been there. What are you, an idiot?
2. When you’re doing “Best of” or “Worst of” lists the same things pop up over and over again. Top whatever video games: Final Fantasy something, Zelda something, Mario something. Worst video games: ET, Atari 2600 Pac-man, Smurfs, and then some terrible adult game. Yawn, seen ’em.
1. Once you reach a big enough mass of material, trying to pick the top few is futile. According to this list in 2005 alone around 175,000 books were published just in the United States, not to mention the rest of the world. And you’re going to tell me that you can pick the top 25 of them that featured protagonists riding on the back of a talking dinosaur? You’ll have to pardon my skepticism.