->'''Charlotte:''' Plaything? I should say not. It is my egg sac, my ''magnum opus''.\\
'''Wilbur:''' I don't know what a magnum opus is.\\
'''Charlotte:''' That's Latin. It means "great work." This egg sac is my great work -- the finest thing I have ever made.
-->-- ''Literature/CharlottesWeb''

Welcome to the top of the mountain, and to the pearly gates beyond which only the best are permitted. This trope represents the pinnacle to which anyone who produces a work of art dreams of reaching. The term "Magnum Opus" is bestowed on any work generally accepted to be a masterpiece, as well as the greatest work of its creator, forever cementing them as someone of exceptional talent.

Any given writer, artist, musician, etc. may produce many works in his/her life time, and many of these works may be great; but the greatest, and most important, well known, and influential of these works is their Magnum Opus. For the purposes of this trope page, it is probably best to consult TheOtherWiki's definition of "Masterpiece": "''a creation that has been given much critical praise, especially one that is considered the greatest work of a person's career or to a work of outstanding creativity, skill or workmanship.''" This trope is meant to recognize both the work and its creator, so any work of enough quality and critical acclaim is welcome. If you've ever heard a work referred to as a "classic" or especially a "masterpiece," chances are it belongs here.

Note that for some particularly talented creators, which work is their true masterpiece can be open to personal interpretation. There may be [[BrokenBase heavy debate regarding multiple works as to which is their true Magnum Opus]]. However, for many creators there is usually a general consensus among critics and fans as to which work represents the pinnacle of their career—the big slam dunk. Others, unfortunately, find themselves facing the painful situational {{irony}} of MagnumOpusDissonance. With that in mind, be free to specify whenever there may be a discrepancy as to which work truly qualifies for this trope, or even if the creator doesn't think that the work generally accepted as their Magnum Opus is really their best. Also note that for some creators, there is little controversy, because [[OneHitWonder they've only ever created or are only known for one particular work]], which happens to be a masterpiece. Others manage to have a successful career, but the MagnumOpus is [[FirstInstallmentWins their first work]].

Before commenting on works that are already cited on this page as a creator's MagnumOpus that you don't agree with, please remember that the main page should be kept as objective as possible, with a minimal number of {{Justifying Edit}}s. If there is a work cited here that you don't agree with or a work you feel has been neglected, please mention it first on the Discussion Page.

Finally, please note that although there may be some overlap, this is not to be confused with OneHitWonder, which is when a creator is only known for one work, and that page mostly has music examples. This isn't OneBookAuthor, either. Most of these also aren't [[ToughActToFollow Tough Acts To Follow]], which is when any other work of a creator's is compared disfavorably to their opus; but again, they can be. The best way to decide whether or not a work is a Magnum Opus is by asking the question: "Is this work generally defined as a masterpiece, and as the greatest achievement of its creator's career?"

Also note that there may or may not be overlap with the creator's BreakthroughHit. While a few creators' breakthroughs are often cited to be their greatest work, most creators will create their breakthrough first, then eventually go on to produce their MagnumOpus.

Also not to be confused with [[BloomCounty a certain penguin]]. Contrast DethroningMomentOfSuck and FallenCreator.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' for HirohikoAraki.
* ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'', ''Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam'' or ''Anime/TurnAGundam'' for YoshiyukiTomino.
* ''Manga/DragonBall'' for AkiraToriyama.
* ''Manga/SailorMoon'' for Creator/NaokoTakeuchi.
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' for Creator/HideakiAnno.
* ''{{Devilman}}'' and ''MazingerZ'' for GoNagai.
* ''Anime/YuGiOh'' for Kazuki Takahashi.
* ''Manga/RoseOfVersailles'' for RiyokoIkeda
* ''SpiritedAway'' and ''PrincessMononoke'' for Creator/HayaoMiyazaki stand out from his always exemplary work. ''Anime/TheWindRises'' is another candidate.
* ''Anime/CowboyBebop'' for ShinichiroWatanabe.
** Bebop's soundtrack (especially [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome that of the movie]]) is this for YokoKanno, although ''{{Escaflowne}}'', ''WolfsRain'' and ''GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex'' certainly come close.
* ''Manga/{{Akira}}'' is widely considered to be KatsuhiroOtomo's greatest work. It is certainly his most famous.
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' for Hiromu Arakawa.
** The [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist 2003 anime adaptation]] for director Seiji Mizushima.
* The anime adaptation of ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' for the late Takeshi Shudo, who seemed to have put his heart and soul into the series to make it entertaining for all ages despite ExecutiveMeddling conflicts. Or at least the Kanto through Johto era, which is the only series of the show that he personally worked on.
* ''RevolutionaryGirlUtena'' for KunihikoIkuhara.
* ''GhostInTheShell'' is always the first film that comes up when MamoruOshii's name is mentioned.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' for Creator/TiteKubo.
* ''{{Berserk}}'' for Creator/KentaroMiura.
* ''[[Manga/SazanEyes 3 x 3 Eyes]]'' for Yuzo Takada.
* Picking one for OsamuTezuka is impossible. ''Manga/AstroBoy'' is his most famous work, ''Manga/{{Phoenix}}'' is his personal favorite, ''Manga/BlackJack'' was once voted the second greatest manga of all time, right after ''BananaFish'', so it's just not possible.
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' is both this and a BreakthroughHit to GenUrobuchi.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'' for Creator/EiichiroOda.
* ''Manga/{{Toriko}}'' for Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro
* ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}'' and ''{{Durarara}}'' for Ryohgo Narita.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' for Masashi Kishimoto.
* ''Anime/MobileFighterGGundam'', ''GiantRobo'' or ''ShinMazinger'' for Yasuhiro Imagawa, although the first is undoubtedly his most famous one.
* DetectiveConan for Gosho Aoyama.
* ''Manga/FushigiYuugi'' will probably always be YuuWatase's most famous and beloved manga, though if we're talking pure quality writing and art ''Manga/AyashiNoCeres'' is most probably her greatest creation.
* ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'' for NobuhiroWatsuki.
* ''SoulEater'' for AtsushiOhkubo.
* ''CodeGeass'' for Goro Taniguchi.
* ''Anime/FangOfTheSunDougram'' or ''Anime/ArmoredTrooperVotoms'' for Ryosuke Takahashi.
* ''BlackButler'' for Yana Toboso.
* ''Manga/{{Monster}}'' for Creator/NaokiUrasawa. ''Manga/TwentiethCenturyBoys'' is this for him too.
* ''NeonGenesisEvangelion'' for StudioGainax. Other potential candidates are ''TengenToppaGurrenLagann'', ''PantyAndStockingWithGarterbelt'', and {{FLCL}}.
* ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'' or ''Manga/HunterXHunter'' for YoshihiroTogashi.
* ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'' for Tetsuo Hara and Buronson.
* OyasumiPunpun for Inio Asano.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Art]]
* Raphael's "School of Athens" an ode to all the masters of the Western world at the time.
* LeonardoDaVinci's ''Mona Lisa'' or ''Last Supper''.
* Michelangelo's ''David'' or the Sistine Chapel painting).
* Pablo Picasso is one of the most important artists of the 20th century; his masterwork is an enormous (roughly 25 feet long and 10 feet high) oil painting known as ''Guernica''.
* Marcel Duchamp might be the most important artist of the 20th century after Picasso; his magnum opus was a piece simply known as "''Fountain''," a porcelain urinal he put on a pedestal in a gallery and signed with a marker as "R. Mutt". The piece was concept heavy, meant to challenge the value of art and the importance of the gallery system. The big idea behind the piece being, "If something is in an art gallery, does that make it art?"
* Vincent Van Gogh never made an impact during his life, but his ''Starry Night'' remains one of the most influential and recognizable paintings in the world.
* Seurat died unfortunately young, but he (the inventor of pointillism) shook up the art world with his stylistically inventive and politically controversial ''Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte''.
* A little more contemporary, Matthew Barney's ''Cremaster Cycle'' series of films.
* Also more contemporary, prepare for some {{Squick}} in reading about Vito Acconci's performance masterpiece [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seedbed_(performance_piece) Seedbed]].
* Masaccio's frescoes for the Barancacci Chapel, his greatest works and considered by some the principal classroom of the Florentine School.
* David's ''Death of Marat''
* Rembrandt's ''The Night Watch'' (or ''The Conspiracy of Claudius Civilis'' depending on who you talk to).
* The ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagrada_Familia Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia]]'' of Barcelona is often considered the masterpiece of the renowned Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi. The intricacy and scale of the cathedral was so immense that not only was it incomplete at the time of Gaudi's death (despite being started some forty years before he died, and devoting the last fifteen years of his life to it entirely), but remains incomplete to this day. By the time it is expected to be finished, it will have been built over the course of about 140 years.
* Creator/SalvadorDali's ''Hallucinogenic Toreador' or "The Persistence of Memory".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Creator/AlanMoore and ''Comicbook/{{Watchmen}}''. For the sole reason that ''Watchmen'' is the most famous and highly regarded comic ''ever''. How highly regarded is it? ''Time'' magazine placed it in their list of the top 100 pieces of literature of the 20th century. ''Everything else on the list was traditional text-only literature''.
** If ''Comicbook/{{Watchmen}}'' is AlanMoore's crown. Then ''Comicbook/VForVendetta'', ''Comicbook/TheKillingJoke'' and ''Comicbook/FromHell'' are his crown jewels.''FromHell'' is another candidate.
* For Creator/JackKirby, it was the ''Comicbook/FourthWorld''.
* For Creator/NeilGaiman, it was ''Comicbook/TheSandman''.
* ''Comicbook/{{Alias}}'' or ''Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}'' for Creator/BrianMichaelBendis, although ''ComicBook/UltimateSpiderman'' is well on its way of taking the top spot.
** The same Daredevil run for sure is this for Alex Maleev.
* ''Comicbook/BatmanTheDarkKnightReturns'' for FrankMiller.
* Creator/GeoffJohns' work on ''Comicbook/GreenLantern'' is developing into this for him. The highlights of this run are the epics ''Comicbook/SinestroCorpsWar'' and ''Comicbook/BlackestNight''.
* First run of ''[[Comicbook/{{Spider-Man}} The Amazing Spider-Man]]'' for StanLee, SteveDitko and John Romita Sr.
** Another candidate for both StanLee and JackKirby is the original run of ''ComicBook/FantasticFour'', which single-handedly kickstarted Marvel's SilverAge. The highlight of this run of course, was epic and extremely influential "Galactus Trilogy."
* ''Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}: Man Without Fear'' for John Romita Jr.
* Creator/MarkMillar seems to spark the most debate concerning his superhero stories ''Comicbook/TheUltimates'' and/or ''Comicbook/SupermanRedSon'' and his superhero {{Deconstruction}} ''Comicbook/KickAss''.
* ''TheSavageDragon'' for Erik Larsen
* ''ComicBook/{{Invincible}}'' for Robert Kirkman, at least if you ask SuperHero fans. For other fans, ''ComicBook/TheWalkingDead''.
* Art Spiegelman has been producing great comics for decades, but ''ComicBook/{{Maus}}'' is considered his masterpiece for its influence, critical appeal, and exposure within the media.
* ''ComicBook/KingdomCome'' for Mark Waid and Alex Ross.
* ''Comicbook/{{Marvels}}'' for [[Creator/KurtBusiek Kurt Busiek]] and Alex Ross (again) and solo for Kurt Busiek - ''ComicBook/AstroCity''.
* Creator/GrantMorrison's has been up for debate for years. Many readers consider ''Comicbook/AnimalMan'' to be his best work, same for ''ComicBook/AllStarSuperman'', which Morrison himself has referred to as "my own Man of Steel magnum opus." Cases have also been made for ''Comicbook/FlexMentallo'' and ''Comicbook/TheInvisibles''.
* WarrenEllis' ''Comicbook/{{Transmetropolitan}}''.
* ''Comicbook/YTheLastMan'' by Brian K. Vaughan. Though, once it's finished, ''{{Comicbook/Saga}}'' may yet eclipse it.
* GarthEnnis' ''Comicbook/{{Preacher}}''.
* Creator/ChrisClaremont will always be remembered as the man who singlehandedly turned ''Comicbook/{{X-Men}}'' from a barely-remembered {{Marvel}} team comic to one of its premier titles. For a more specific Magnum Opus, look to either ''ComicBook/DaysOfFuturePast'' or ''Comicbook/TheDarkPhoenixSaga''.
* ''ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths'' for the writer-artist team of Marv Wolfman and George Perez, though the latter's run on ''Comicbook/WonderWoman'' was also highly acclaimed and influential. The duo's run on ''ComicBook/TeenTitans'' qualifies as well.
** ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths is often cited as the single best event to ever come out of Creator/DCComics; it is still the CrisisCrossover to which all others are compared, and to this day all still end up falling short.
* Creator/EdBrubaker's run on ''ComicBook/CaptainAmerica'' has been hailed as the best ever on the title, so much so that it earned him MyRealDaddy status. ''Comicbook/{{Sleeper}}'' might be a better candidate, as it is quite representative of his body of work.
* ''GreenLantern[=/=]ComicBook/GreenArrow'' for Neal Adams and Denny O'Neil. Also, their run on ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'', which made the character a darker figure again (after the campiness inspired by [[Series/{{Batman}} the Adam West series]]) and introduced Ra's al Ghul.
* Keno DonRosa's ''Comicbook/TheLifeAndTimesOfScroogeMcDuck''
* ''Comicbook/{{Starman}}'' for James Robinson.
* ''Comicbook/{{Bone}}'' for Jeff Smith.
* ''ComicBook/Cerebus'' for Dave Sim
* ''ComicBook/BlackPanther'' for Creator/ChristopherPriestComics with ''QuantumAndWoody'' being a runner up.
* ''Comicbook/OneHundredBullets'' for Brian Azzarello, and also for the artist, Eduardo Risso.
* ''Comicbook/{{Deadpool}}'' writer Joe Kelly's run on 'Pool's first monthly series is undoubtedly his finest work. It made him Deadpool's [[MyRealDaddy real daddy]].
* ScottPilgrim for Brian Lee O'Malley.
* ''BloomCounty'' is this for cartoonist Berkeley Breathed.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* The ''FanFic/TamersForeverSeries'' ('''''ESPECIALLY''''' "Silent Sorrow") for Daneel Rush.
* Considering how many works have come from this group, the MagnumOpus for EyrieProductionsUnlimited is its most well-known (and one of the oldest of Internet-based) fanfics, ''UndocumentedFeatures.'' It's the defining work of fiction for most of the Eyrie crew, most notably head writer Ben "Gryphon" Hutchins.
* Greg Fisk's fanfic series ''[[FanFic/AllThingsProbableSeries All Things Probable]]'' should probably count as his greatest work.
* ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'' is perhaps the culmination of the works of Creator/{{Swing 123}} and Creator/{{Garfieldodie}}. Fitting, since it's a ContinuityCavalcade that still manages to be enjoyable without reading the earlier fics.
* The ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'' for alexwarlorn.
* Kkat's ''Fanfic/FalloutEquestria''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fashion]]
* Probably {{CocoChanel}}'s [[PerfumeCommercial Perfume No.5]]. Or her [[LittleBlackDress little black dresses]].
* Christian Dior's 1947 New Look Collection. Most notable is [[http://www.cafleurebon.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/new-look-1947-dress.jpg this one]].
* Madeline Vionnet's concept of [[SexyBacklessOutfit the bias-cut]].
* Princess Diana Spencer's [[FairytaleWeddingDress wedding dress]] designed by the couple Elizabeth and David Emmanuel.
* MGM designer Helen Rose's [[FairytaleWeddingDress wedding dresses]] for Creator/ElizabethTaylor in 1950 and Creator/GraceKelly in 1956.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film - Animated]]
* {{Disney|AnimatedCanon}} fans and critics alike have a ''field day'' trying to determine which is the best film of the Disney's [[TheGoldenAgeOfAnimation Golden Age]]--many say ''Disney/{{Pinocchio}}'', others say ''Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs'', others say ''Disney/{{Fantasia}}'', and some like John Lasseter even think ''Disney/{{Dumbo}}'' is his greatest film (and on one episode of Disneyland, Walt said it was the favorite feature his studio worked on). However, Walt himself considered ''Disney/{{Bambi}}'' his MagnumOpus, and there are probably fans out there who consider it his best as well.
** On that note, he intended ''Disney/SleepingBeauty'' to be his Magnum Opus, but it's [[BoxOfficeBomb failure at the box office]] (despite being the second highest grossing film on release against ''Film/BenHur''), mixed reception upon initial release, and general story flaws kept it from being such. It has now been considered by some to be VindicatedByHistory and is now praised as a masterpiece of animation and design.
** ''Disney/TheJungleBook'' is noted as being a masterpiece in character animation, and either that or ''Disney/TheRescuers'' is considered the opus of Disney's DorkAge.
** When it comes to the [[TheRenaissanceAgeOfAnimation Disney Renaissance]], fans get into ''a lot'' of debate on whether ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid'', ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'', ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'', or''Disney/TheLionKing'' is the crown jewel. ''Disney/{{Tarzan}}'', ''Disney/{{Mulan}}'', and ''Disney/{{Hercules}}'' are also considered strong contenders. ''Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'' has been seen as this for the Disney Renaissance as well -- a far cry from its earlier lukewarm reception.
** {{Pixar}} has this too. The debate is usually between ''WesternAnimation/{{WALL-E}}'', ''WesternAnimation/{{Up}}'', ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'', one or all of the ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory'' movies, and ''WesternAnimation/FindingNemo''.
** Yet ''another'' debate involves the works of Disney Renaissance writer/director duo John Musker and Ron Clements. Although they make [[Disney/TheGreatMouseDetective consistently]] [[Disney/{{Hercules}} good]] [[Disney/TreasurePlanet films]], most critics and fans would pick either ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' or ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid''.
** The early millennium era has either ''Disney/AtlantisTheLostEmpire'' or ''Disney/TreasurePlanet''.
** And as for the modern age, ''Disney/{{Tangled}}'', ''Disney/WreckItRalph'', or ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'' (the first being considered the beginning of the return to Disney's famous quality, the second being praised for its refreshing creativity and genuine heart, and the latter being favourably compared to ''Beauty and the Beast'' and ''The Lion King''). As of 2014, however, this title is now almost unanimously given to ''Frozen.''
* Most fans believe that Creator/DonBluth's best film was ''WesternAnimation/TheSecretOfNIMH'' (he himself considers it the film he enjoyed working on the most), although ''WesternAnimation/AnAmericanTail'' and ''WesternAnimation/TheLandBeforeTime'' have their supporters.
** ''WesternAnimation/AllDogsGoToHeaven'' has been VindicatedByHistory in this regard, as well.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas'', which is often mistaken for a Creator/TimBurton movie (Burton only wrote it), is most likely Henry Selick's best work.
* ''WesternAnimation/HeavyTraffic'' or ''WesternAnimation/{{Coonskin}}'' for Creator/RalphBakshi, even though he's better known for ''WesternAnimation/FritzTheCat''.
** When asked, Ralph himself will always say ''WesternAnimation/{{Coonskin}}'' is his magnum opus.
* Acclaimed animator RichardWilliams has literally referred to ''WesternAnimation/TheThiefAndTheCobbler'' (or at least his original vision for it, before it was butchered by ExecutiveMeddling) as his magnum opus; others believe ''Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit'' was his masterpiece.
* ''WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon'' and ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'' are often considered to be Creator/DreamWorksAnimation's greatest animated films. ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'' is another candidate, though the sequels haven't fared as well in comparison. ''WesternAnimation/ThePrinceOfEgypt'' is their opus in 2D animation.
* Creator/BradBird has never EVER made a bad film, but the biggest contenders for his Opus are ''WesternAnimation/TheIronGiant'' and ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles''. ''Film/MissionImpossibleGhostProtocol'' is another strong contender.
* Chris Sanders has either ''Disney/LiloAndStitch'', or ''WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon''.
* Not a creator, but the general public considers [[Disney/{{Aladdin}} The Genie]] to be the best role Creator/RobinWilliams ever played. He has had far more illustrious roles, some of which he's won academy awards for, but even he admits that The Genie is probably the role for which he will be remembered even after he's gone.
* ''TheLegoMovie'' or ''Film/TwentyOneJumpStreet'' for Phil Lord and Chris Miller.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Balto}}'' for Creator/StevenSpielberg's short-lived {{Creator/Amblimation}} studio.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film - Live Action]]
* Creator/QuentinTarantino's Magnum Opus is still probably ''Film/PulpFiction'', although ''Film/InglouriousBasterds'' seems to have opened up the debate. Tarantino himself considers ''Film/InglouriousBasterds'' his MagnumOpus. Note that the last line is "I think this just might be my masterpiece." This line is made all the more amusing- or snobbish- by Tarantino claiming that while writing the screenplay he pictured himself as the character that says that line.
** There is a sizable(ish) contingent who say ''Film/JackieBrown'' is his best. This includes many of Tarantino's critics, which is understandable seeing as ''Film/JackieBrown'' is the movie which is least typical of him.
** While some consider ''Film/KillBill'' to be his greatest work.
** ''Film/ReservoirDogs'' is also up there. ''Film/DjangoUnchained'' has its supporters as well.
* ''Film/CitizenKane'' for OrsonWelles. Welles' own personal choice would have been his adaptation of ''TheTrial''.
** Or perhaps, ''The Chimes at Midnight''.
* For Creator/PeterJackson, it was the ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' film series. For a specific film, usually ''Return of the King'' is brought up.
** Now also including ''Film/TheHobbit''.
* Most critics would consider M. Night Shyamalan's magnum opus to be ''TheSixthSense'', but he himself considers ''{{Unbreakable}}'' to be his greatest work (yet).
* Creator/AlfredHitchcock's magnum opus is split between ''Film/{{Vertigo}}'' and ''Film/{{Psycho}}'' (the former more often tops "greatest movies" lists, such as being declared the greatest film of all time by the British Film Institute in 2012). His favorite was ''Film/ShadowOfADoubt''.
* Creator/FritzLang is a little more questionable, but it's down to ''Film/{{M}}'' and ''Film/{{Metropolis}}'' by most accounts. Lang himself favored ''M''.
* ''Film/{{Titanic}}'' and ''Film/{{Avatar}}'' may be the two highest grossing movies of all time, but when it comes down to it, when you ask film critics or other film nerds what Creator/JamesCameron's best film is, most will say either ''Film/{{Aliens}}'' or ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay.''
** The nod would probably have to go to ''Film/{{Titanic}}''. Despite it having been knocked down to number two highest grossing, the fact that it swept all awards it was nominated for the year it was eligible indicates the [[Main/AcademyAwards Academy]] thought it [[{{Understatement}} was worthy of mention]].
* GeorgeLucas and the original ''StarWars'' trilogy. Fans are torn between "A New Hope" and "The Empire Strikes Back".
** Or the original ''Franchise/IndianaJones'' trilogy. Of the three films, it's usually a toss up between [[IndianaJonesAndTheRaidersOfTheLostArk Raiders Of The Lost Ark]] and [[IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade The Last Crusade]].
* Creator/StanleyKubrick and ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey''. For most directors, the almost-as-influential and loved ''DrStrangelove'' would serve as this, but ''2001'' may be the purest distillation of Kubrick's style. ''Film/AClockworkOrange'', ''Film/TheShining'', and ''Film/FullMetalJacket'' are also strong contenders..
* Obadiah Stane references this trope in regards to Tony's Arc Reactor in the ''IronMan'' [[Film/IronMan movie]].
-->''Oh, it's beautiful. Tony, this is your [[LudwigVanBeethoven Ninth Symphony]]. Oh, what a masterpiece.''
* ''Film/TheSeventhSeal'' or ''Film/FannyAndAlexander'' for Creator/IngmarBergman.
* ''Film/LaDolceVita'' or ''Film/EightAndAHalf'' for Creator/FedericoFellini.
* ''Film/{{Ran}}'' or ''Film/TheSevenSamurai'' for Creator/AkiraKurosawa, but ''Film/{{Rashomon}}'' deserves special mention.
* ''Film/EdWood'', ''TheNightmareBeforeChristmas'' (despite not directing it) or ''Film/BigFish'' for Creator/TimBurton. He considers ''Film/EdwardScissorhands'' to be his personal favorite, however.
** ''Film/Plan9FromOuterSpace'' for Creator/EdWood.
* ''Film/TheThing1982'' for Creator/JohnCarpenter, though ''Film/{{Halloween 1978}}'' is also raised to this status.
** ''Film/TheThing1982'' is an interesting example as it was universally despised by both critics and audiences at its release. [[VindicatedByHistory Now you'll be hard-pressed to find a list of the all-time best sci-fi and scariest horror films that doesn't include it.]]
* ''Film/TheTexasChainSawMassacre1974'' for Creator/TobeHooper.
* ''Film/OnceUponATimeInTheWest'' for Sergio Leone, though [[DeadArtistsAreBetter critics didn't think so at first.]] Other candidates include ''TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly'' and ''Film/OnceUponATimeInAmerica''.
* Most critics will point to ''Film/TheGodfather'' for Creator/FrancisFordCoppola, though ''Film/ApocalypseNow'' and ''Film/TheGodfatherPartII'' are also highly regarded.
* Martin Scorsese has several for contention: ''Film/GoodFellas'' has the most love, with ''Film/TaxiDriver'' and ''Film/RagingBull'' also at the top of the list. The movie that ''did'' win [[AcademyAwards Oscar]] love for Scorsese, ''Film/TheDeparted'', isn't as highly regarded (although it's still considered excellent).
* While Creator/ChristopherNolan is well known for ''Film/ThePrestige'' and ''Film/BatmanBegins'', not to mention ''Film/TheDarkKnight'' & ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'', his greatest work is most likely ''Film/{{Inception}}'', which he had been working on for ''nearly a decade''.
** ''Film/TheDarkKnightSaga'' (particularly ''The Dark Knight'') as a whole may be a serious contender for the position, being one of the few film trilogies to have three consistently great and praised movies.
* When Creator/StevenSpielberg was asked which film he would like to be remembered best for, he answered either ''Film/ETTheExtraTerrestrial'' or ''Film/SchindlersList''.
** A case can easily be made for ''Film/CloseEncountersOfTheThirdKind'' and ''{{Jaws}}'' as well.
* Most critics are considering ''Film/BlackSwan'' to be Creator/DarrenAronofsky's masterpiece. Coming from the same guy who made ''Literature/RequiemForADream'' and ''TheWrestler'', that's saying a lot.
* David Lynch's ''Film/MulhollandDrive'' is considered his best work, and he was nominated for Best Director at the Oscars. Other possible contenders include ''Film/{{Eraserhead}}'' and ''Film/BlueVelvet''.
* Many feel that the adaptation ''NoCountryForOldMen'' is Creator/TheCoenBrothers' masterpiece and that's saying quite a bit. ''Film/{{Fargo}}'' is also a contender, as is ''Film/TheBigLebowski''.
* ''Film/PansLabyrinth'' for Creator/GuillermoDelToro. ''Film/PacificRim'' as well.
* ''Film/TheSocialNetwork'' for Creator/DavidFincher, as well as ''Film/FightClub''. Among film critics, ''Film/{{Se7en}}'' is generally held in higher esteem than ''Film/FightClub''.
* ''TheShawshankRedemption'' for FrankDarabont.
* ''Film/{{Alien}}'' and ''Film/BladeRunner'' tend to be at odds as top dog for Creator/RidleyScott.
* Creator/DavidCronenberg just '''loves''' for his movies to [[BodyHorror make people's skin crawl]], and yet critics adore one of his ''least'' disturbing movies ''EasternPromises''. Another candidate is ''TheFly''.
* ''Film/TheWildBunch'' for SamPeckinpah.
* ''Film/{{Chinatown}}'' for Creator/RomanPolanski.
* ''Film/{{Ghostbusters}}'' for not just Ivan Reitman.
* ''Film/GroundhogDay'' is Ramis's magnum opus (and Bill Murray's).
* For the late Creator/JohnHughes, it's both ''Film/TheBreakfastClub'' and ''Film/FerrisBuellersDayOff'', and to a lesser extent, ''HomeAlone''.
* ''Film/ThereWillBeBlood'' for Creator/PaulThomasAnderson. Although Paul Thomas Anderson himself considers ''{{Magnolia}}'' to be his best work.
* ''Film/AnnieHall'' for Creator/WoodyAllen.
* For famed Dutch director Creator/PaulVerhoeven, many will point to either ''Film/RoboCop1987'' or ''Film/{{Zwartboek}}''.
* Creator/BlakeEdwards' MO is very likely ''Franchise/ThePinkPanther'' and its sequels.
* ''Film/DoTheRightThing'' for Creator/SpikeLee was his best and most remembered film, with ''Film/MalcolmX'' coming in close second. However, ''Film/InsideMan'' was his most financially successful film.
* For John Singleton, ''Film/BoyzNTheHood'' is his most remembered film. Considered by many the best "Hood" film ever made.
* ''Film/MenaceIISociety'' is the Hughes Brothers most popular and recognized film.
* For David Yates, the second half of ''Film/HarryPotter'', particularly ''Deathly Hallows''.
* Either ''Film/TheFrenchConnection'' or ''Film/TheExorcist'' for famed director William Friedkin. Friedkin himself views ''{{Film/Sorcerer}}'' as his magnum opus, which thanks to being VindicatedByHistory, many are beginning to agree.
* ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'' for Joe Johnston.
* ''Film/TheMatrix'' for The Wachowski Siblings.
** ''Film/CloudAtlas'' is also in consideration, just for its ambition and scale.
* ''Film/LostInTranslation'' for Sofia Coppola.
* As far as Kathryn Bigelow is concerned, this could be either ''TheHurtLocker'' or ''ZeroDarkThirty'', though while the former won her an Oscar, the latter earned specific citations as such from critics and film fans.
* Steven Soderbergh has done a variety of films encompassing numerous genres, but ''Traffic'' is probably the ultimate culmination of his career. ''Film/OutOfSight'' and the HBO movie ''BehindTheCandelabra'' could also be contenders.
* Too many to count for Robert Altman, with ''Nashville'' being the likeliest candidate, though ''MASH'' was his breakthrough hit and ''Film/ThePlayer'' earned similar acclaim. ''Film/McCabeandMrsMiller'', ''Film/GosfordPark'', and ''Film/ShortCuts'' all have their supporters.
* Fans of Ang Lee may debate whether ''Film/CrouchingTigerHiddenDragon'' or ''BrokebackMountain'' best fit this, though ''LifeOfPi'' has popped up as a notable choice.
* ''Film/{{Unforgiven}}'' is widely seen as Clint Eastwood's masterpiece. In fact, it may serve as the magnum opus of the entire Western genre.
* ''Film/TheSearchers'' is this for John Ford.
* Though Frank Capra is best remembered today for ''Film/ItsAWonderfulLife'', ''Film/MrSmithGoesToWashington'' was much better received by critics and earned 11 Oscar nominations. One critic called it the best representation of the "Capra Myth."
* Likely ''Film/OnTheWaterfront'' for Elia Kazan, followed closely by ''AStreetcarNamedDesire''.
* As far as films are concerned, James L. Brooks has ''Film/TermsOfEndearment''.
* Warren Beatty has ''Reds'', his ultimate passion project and the film that finally earned him an Academy Award.
* As prolific as his career is, Mike Nichols will likely always be known best for his first two films, ''WhosAfraidOfVirginiaWoolf'' and (especially) ''Film/TheGraduate''. Then again, the HBO miniseries adaptation of ''Theatre/AngelsInAmerica'' can also serve as this.
* Creator/BarryLevinson has ''Film/RainMan''.
* Neil Jordan will always have ''Film/TheCryingGame''.
* Kenneth Branagh spent a lot of time adapting Shakespeare into films, and it's likely that many will see his 1996 adaptation of ''Hamlet'' as this.
* Arthur Penn and ''Film/BonnieAndClyde''.
* For George Stevens, ''Giant'' is this. That or ''Film/APlaceInTheSun''.
* Sidney Lumet hit it out of the park with ''TwelveAngryMen'', though ''Network'' may be his most widely admired film.
* Creator/DavidLean's is ''LawrenceOfArabia'', which is saying a lot for the man who also crafted ''TheBridgeOnTheRiverKwai''.
* Carol Reed and ''Film/TheThirdMan''.
* With Creator/BillyWilder, there are too many to count, but most cite ''Film/SunsetBoulevard''. After that, ''Film/SomeLikeItHot'', ''Film/TheApartment'' and ''Film/DoubleIndemnity''.
* Fred Zinnemann's are ''Film/HighNoon'' and ''Film/FromHereToEternity''.
* John Huston and ''Film/TheTreasureOfTheSierraMadre''.
* ''Film/DasBoot'' for Creator/WolfgangPetersen.
* ''Film/TheAvengers'' is a strong candidate not just for JossWhedon ''and'' the MarvelCinematicUniverse, but for the entire SuperHero movie genre ''itself''. ''CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'' is another for the MCU.
* ''Film/TheMusicBox'' was this for [[Creator/{{LaurelAndHardy}} Laurel and Hardy]]-not only is it their most famous and most enduring movie, it was Stan Laurel's favourite out of all the 106 films they made together. It is also considered the best short by their fans.
* ''Film/MaryPoppins'' represents the culmination of Creator/WaltDisney's innovations and progressions as a filmmaker.
* Creator/MelBrooks' most acclaimed/successful comedy movies include ''Film/TheProducers'', ''Film/BlazingSaddles'', and ''Film/YoungFrankenstein''.
* CharlieChaplin is best known for his tramp films, though many would most likely point to his Nazi satire ''Film/TheGreatDictator'' as his magnum opus. Other candidates include ''CityLights'' and ''ModernTimes'', both tramp movies.
* ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'' has become this for the ''X-Men'' film series in general, and for BryanSinger specifically. It's the highest-rated film in the series as well as Singer's personal highest-rated film made (so far), and has received near-universal acclaim from both audiences and critics.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Most readers assume ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' is this for Creator/JRRTolkien, but Tolkien himself considered ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'' (which he worked on for longer) his MagnumOpus.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'' for Creator/JKRowling.
* Creator/PaulFeval seems to have intended Literature/JohnDevil to be his when it wrote it. it's his largest novel and incorporates ideas from everything he'd written before. And is kind of taken the most seriously of anything he wrote before his "conversion" to the religion he already practiced. But it wasn't greatly received at the time, and despite likely having an influence on ''Monsieur Lecoq'' and thus indirectly Literature/SherlockHolmes, and anticipating many common Tropes of modern Popular Fiction it fell into obscurity and went over a century without being reprinted until its Enlgish translation by Creator/BrianStableford.
** His successful MagnumOpus is ''Literature/TheBlackCoats'' saga, which continued many themes of ''John Devil'' and earlier works.
** ''Le Bossu'' is the most frequently adapted only because it's a simpler tale then either of those.
* ''Literature/HisDarkMaterials'' for Creator/PhilipPullman.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' for Creator/GeorgeRRMartin. Within that series ''Literature/AStormOfSwords'' is agreed to be the best of the books so far.
* Creator/HermanMelville's ''Literature/MobyDick''.
* Sir Creator/ArthurConanDoyle wrote multiple stories, but he will always be remembered as the one who gave Literature/SherlockHolmes to the world. Of the "Holmes" stories, either the short story collection ''The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes'' or the novel ''Literature/TheHoundOfTheBaskervilles'' tend to be praised as the finest examples.
* Creator/HGWells' iconic ''Literature/TheWarOfTheWorlds''.
* Creator/DouglasAdams and ''Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy''.
** Adams himself, on the other hand, considered ''Last Chance To See'' his greatest work. A small amount of his fans agree with him on that.
* Joseph Heller's ''Literature/CatchTwentyTwo''.
* William Golding wrote many, many novels. One of those was ''Literature/LordOfTheFlies''.
* ''Literature/TheWitcher'' for Creator/AndrzejSapkowski.
* Creator/RaymondChandler's ''Literature/TheBigSleep''.
* ''Literature/TheGlassBeadGame'' by Creator/HermannHesse.
* Typically thought to be ''Literature/{{Ulysses}}'' for Creator/JamesJoyce, aside from a few diehard MindScrew fans who say it's ''Literature/FinnegansWake''.
* ''Literature/TheMasterAndMargarita'' for Mikhail Bulgakov.
* ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'' for Creator/CSLewis.
* ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice'' is often considered the MagnumOpus of Creator/JaneAusten, but Austen considered ''Literature/{{Emma}}'' her best work.
* ''Literature/TheSoundAndTheFury'' for Creator/WilliamFaulkner.
* ''Literature/BloodMeridian'' for Creator/CormacMcCarthy, although ''Literature/TheBorderTrilogy'' is a very strong contender as well.
* Creator/VladimirNabokov wrote many books, but ''Literature/{{Lolita}}'' is the only one most people have heard of. Although some of his other books are well-known among English majors. And ''Literature/PaleFire'' seems to be well-read by educated people, and it is likely a very distant runner up in the contest for most famous Nabokov book. (''Lolita'' was a ''success de scandal''; none of his other books are from the POV of a child molester.)
* ''Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica'' (Mathematical Principles of Science) is not only Issac Newton's most important book but considered one of the most important in the history of science.
* Similarly, AlbertEinstein's ''General Theory of Relativity'' and Euclid's ''Elements''.
* Creator/AynRand's ''Literature/AtlasShrugged''.
* Creator/HunterSThompson was a prolific journalist and author, writing many articles and books covering politics at least up until the 1992 presidential election, but everyone knows him for ''Literature/FearAndLoathingInLasVegas''. Shame considering how all his work is so awesome.
* Julia Child is best known for her first TV show ''The French Chef'' and her collaboration on ''Mastering the Art of French Cooking'', but her far less famous ''The Way to Cook'' book/video combination constitutes possibly the greatest project of her life.
* Creator/GeorgeOrwell has either ''Literature/NineteenEightyFour'' or ''Literature/AnimalFarm''.
* ''Literature/BraveNewWorld'' for Aldous Huxley.
* Creator/StephenKing
** He has said that if he has a MagnumOpus, it's ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' series. Fans suggest ''Literature/TheStand''.
** King considers ''Literature/TheDeadZone'' to be the best of his novels, and "[[Literature/DifferentSeasons The Body]]" to be his best piece of writing, period.
* Creator/LloydAlexander's ''Literature/ChroniclesOfPrydain''.
* Creator/{{Plato}}'s ''Literature/TheRepublic''.
* Creator/ThomasPynchon's ''Literature/GravitysRainbow''.
* Jonathan Swift's ''Literature/GulliversTravels''.
* In-story example: Charlotte, of ''Literature/CharlottesWeb'', explicitly referred to her egg sac as her MagnumOpus, even explaining the term to Wilbur the pig. See the page quote. ''Charlotte's Web'' itself is probably E.B. White's Magnum Opus, though ''Literature/StuartLittle'' may have its advocates, as well as ''Literature/TheTrumpetOfTheSwan''.
* ''Literature/TheCatcherInTheRye'' for Creator/JDSalinger.
* F. Scott Fitzgerald's ''Literature/TheGreatGatsby''.
* Creator/JackLondon's ''Literature/TheCallOfTheWild''.
* Creator/FrankHerbert's ''Literature/{{Dune}}''.
* Either ''Literature/OfMiceAndMen'' or ''Literature/TheGrapesOfWrath'' for Creator/JohnSteinbeck.
** Though Steinbeck himself considered ''Literature/EastOfEden'' to be his masterpiece.
* An example of a Magnum Opus that ''does'' overlap with both OneBookAuthor and ToughActToFollow is Harper Lee's classic ''Literature/ToKillAMockingbird'', which is also the only book she ever wrote.
* ''[[Literature/AliceInWonderland Alice's Adventures in Wonderland]]'' and its sequel, ''Through the Looking-Glass'', for Creator/LewisCarroll.
* Most would say ''Literature/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'' is this for Creator/RoaldDahl, but ''Literature/{{Matilda}}'' also has its supporters. ''Literature/JamesAndTheGiantPeach'' is also up there.
* Creator/RobertJordan has ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime''.
* Creator/BrandonSanderson is apparently planning ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'' to be this, but currently, ''Literature/{{Mistborn}}'' is generally considered his greatest work.
* The ''Literature/{{Deverry}}'' series for Katherine Kerr.
* ''Literature/StrangerInAStrangeLand'' for Creator/RobertAHeinlein, though there are other candidates like ''Literature/StarshipTroopers'', ''Literature/TheMoonIsAHarshMistress'' and ''Literature/TimeEnoughForLove''.
* Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''Literature/{{Foundation}}''. On the other hand, the series was never concluded and many people find it somewhat dry. In terms of a legacy, ''Literature/IRobot'' probably fits more.
* Creator/ArthurCClarke's ''Literature/ChildhoodsEnd'' although ''2001: A Space Odyssey'' can also contend.
* ''Literature/{{Krabat}}'' for Otfried Preußler, which took him ten years (albeit with breaks).
* ''Literature/TheDeclineOfTheWest'' for Oswald Spengler (1911-22 - yes, that includes UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne).
* Miguel Cervantes' ''[[Literature/DonQuixote The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha]]''. Commonly hailed as "the first modern novel". In 2002, a panel of 100 writers from 54 different countries (including Salman Rushdie, Jon Irving, and Carlos Fuentes) voted it "the best literary work ever written," in a list that also contained Shakespeare, the Bible, and Homer.
* Adam Mickiewicz's ''Pan Tadeusz'', considered one of the best works in the Polish language.
* Henryk Sienkiewicz's ''[[Literature/SienkiewiczTrilogy Trilogy]]''.
* Creator/PhilipKDick's ''Literature/{{VALIS}}'' is generally considered his magnum opus in academic circles, although his only HugoAward-winner, ''Literature/TheManInTheHighCastle'', is another strong contender, as is ''Literature/{{Ubik}}'', which ''Time Magazine'' called one of the 100 best novels since 1923. ''Literature/DoAndroidsDreamOfElectricSheep'' (the basis for the movie ''Film/BladeRunner'') is probably his best known work, though.
* ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfAmber'' for Creator/RogerZelazny.
* Literature/TheBlackCompany for Creator/GlenCook.
* Either ''Literature/EarthseaTrilogy'' or ''Literature/TheLeftHandOfDarkness'' for Creator/UrsulaKLeGuin, depending on who you ask. ''Literature/TheDispossessed'' also gets a strong mention, and "[[PoweredByAForsakenChild Those Who Walk Away from Omelas]]" is generally considered the best of her short stories.
* ''Literature/BleakHouse'', ''Literature/DavidCopperfield'', or ''Literature/GreatExpectations'' for Creator/CharlesDickens; Dickens himself regarded ''Literature/GreatExpectations'' as the greatest novel he ever wrote.
* ''Literature/APrayerForOwenMeany'' for John Irving.
* ''Literature/TheOldManAndTheSea'' for Creator/ErnestHemingway.
* ''Literature/TheColourOutOfSpace'' for Creator/HPLovecraft. There's also The Call Of Cthulhu or The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.
* SaulBellow's final ''Literature/{{Ravelstein}}''--a RomanAClef about one of his close friends, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allan_Bloom Allan Bloom]]--is considered by many literary critics to be his masterpiece. This man wrote all manner of famous novels and short stories. Yeah.
* ''Literature/CatsCradle'' or ''Literature/SlaughterhouseFive'' for Creator/KurtVonnegut
* ''{{Fahrenheit 451}}'' for Creator/RayBradbury
* ''Literature/TheBrothersKaramazov'' is considered this for Creator/FyodorDostoevsky, as is ''Literature/CrimeAndPunishment''.
* ''Literature/TheWindInTheWillows'' for Kenneth Grahame (who sadly does not have his own [[HomePage TV Tropes]] page).
* ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}'' and ''LightNovel/{{Durarara}}'' for Ryohgo Narita.
* For Creator/TerryPratchett's ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novels, it's a tossup between ''Discworld/NightWatch'' and ''Discworld/IShallWearMidnight''.
* The first book in the ''[[Literature/TheHungerGames Hunger Games]]'' trilogy for Creator/SuzanneCollins. The trilogy as a whole is often considered as well.
* Most would say ''Literature/JaneEyre'' for Creator/CharlotteBronte, but ''Literature/{{Villette}}'' also has its supporters who consider it superior to the former.
* ''Literature/TheFaultInOurStars'' for Creator/JohnGreen, although you might hear an argument or two for ''Literature/LookingForAlaska''. What isn't debatable is that the former book is ''way'' more successful than the latter.
* ''Literature/InfiniteJest'' for Creator/DavidFosterWallace.
* ''Literature/WarAndPeace'' for Creator/LeoTolstoy. Ironically considered unreadable and too large by many, yet still one of the greatest novels ever written by most.
* ''Literature/TheArtOfWar'' by Sun Tzu. Not just a book on tactics, but a way of life for some and a poetic writing as well. A true great in every way.
* Though he has written many books and has other franchises, ''Literature/TheLegendOfDrizzt'' series of books by R. A. Salvatore is probably his most remembered and beloved series to date.
* ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' as both a whole universe and individual books in the series for ''Creator/MargaretWeis'' and Tracy Hickman.
** Or possibly ''Literature/TheDeathGateCycle''
* ''Literature/FightClub'' for Creator/ChuckPalahniuk.
* ''Literature/{{Gateway}}'' for Creator/FrederikPohl.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/BabylonFive'' for Creator/JMichaelStraczynski.
* JossWhedon has candidates like ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', ''Series/{{Angel}}'', ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', ''Film/TheAvengers'' and (comic-wise) ''ComicBook/XMen''.
* ''FraggleRock'' for JimHenson.
** ''TheMuppetShow''. Though really it was ''TheMuppetMovie''.
* Creator/KenBurns ' documentary miniseries ''The Civil War''.
* ''VeronicaMars'' for Rob Thomas.
* ''Series/AllInTheFamily'' (the first 8 seasons before he left anyway) for Norman Lear.
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'' for Creator/JJAbrams, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse.
* From an acting perspective, although he was already a big deal from ''{{Cheers}}'', ''{{Frasier}}'' would likely be the front runner for Kelsey Grammer.
* Another acting one, ''EverybodyLovesRaymond'' for most, if not all of the cast, as well as producer Phil Rosenthal.
* ''Series/{{Mash}}'' for Alan Alda (and the rest of the cast, for that matter). Bonus points for Alda being a director, lead actor, AND writer.
* Though hardly unsuccessful with his other works, earning a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for ''TheSocialNetwork'', it's likely that Aaron Sorkin will be most fondly remembered for his four seasons' work on ''Series/TheWestWing''.
* ''Series/TheSopranos'' for DavidChase. Like ''Series/TheWire'' and ''Series/BreakingBad'', it is considered the champion modern example of television.
* ''TheWire'' for Creator/DavidSimon.
* They say that every ''Series/DoctorWho'' {{Showrunner}} has an episode that encapsulates everything about their era in general, an episiode that couldn't have ever been made under anyone else. In rough order, based on fan opinion:
** Barry Letts / Terrance Dicks - ''The Daemons''
** Phillip Hinchcliffe / Creator/RobertHolmes - ''The Talons Of Weng-Chiang''
** Graham Williams / Creator/DouglasAdams - ''City Of Death'' (May have been ''Shada'' if it had ever gotten properly made).
** Creator/JohnNathanTurner / Christopher Bidmead - ''Logopolis''
*** John Nathan-Turner / Eric Saward - ''Revelation Of The Daleks'' (Though in the words of Mike Morris ''The Two Doctors'' was more encapsulating of what the Saward Era actually was, ''Revelation'' is more what it wanted to be)
*** John Nathan-Turner / Andrew Cartmel - ''The Curse Of Fenric''
** Creator/RussellTDavies - ''The End Of Time''. Other candidates include "Midnight" as Davies' best episode (as it expertly deconstructs all of ''Doctor Who'' and its tropes), and "Army of Ghosts/Doomsday" as the greatest traditional "Who" adventure under his tenure, particularly due to how well it emphasizes the emotional relationship between the Doctor and Rose. Outside of "Who", there's also ''[[TorchwoodChildrenofEarth Children of Earth]]'' for Davies. Easily the most acclaimed series of ''Torchwood'', and perhaps the most mature run of episodes of the [=NuWho=] universe.
** Creator/StevenMoffat - As a producer, it may be to early to really judge. As a writer though, probably "Blink" tied with "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances".
** ''Series/DoctorWho'' writers by themselves:
*** Creator/TerryNation - ''Genesis Of The Daleks''
*** Christopher Bidmead - ''Frontios''
*** Creator/RobertHolmes - ''The Caves Of Androzani''
*** Creator/PaulCornell - "Human Nature"/"The Family of Blood"
* The re-imagined ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Reimagined}}'' for Ronald D. Moore.
* ''ILoveLucy'' for Lucille Ball. Seeing as how it [[UrExample practically invented]] the SitCom and to this day you can't make one without borrowing from ''Lucy'', it can be seen as a MagnumOpus for the genre itself, a feat made all the more impressive by the fact that it made Ball the most powerful woman in the TV industry at a time when women weren't given much slack.
* ''Series/TwentyFour'' for Kiefer Sutherland is what he is always going to be best known for acting-wise, in addition to encouraging debate regarding "extreme interrogation methods" employed by the Bush administration and other political issues.
* ''Series/{{Community}}'' for DanHarmon.
* ''Series/BreakingBad'' for Vince Gilligan, which is generally placed alongside ''Series/TheSopranos'' and ''Series/TheWire'' as the best television drama ever. In fact, [[WordOfGod Gilligan]] [[ToughActToFollow is firmly convinced that he will never, in the rest of his career, ever be able to match it.]]
* ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' for Bill Lawrence
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* A classical example is probably Beethoven's fifth and ninth symphonies, which stand out despite Beethoven having written numerous well-known compositions.
** His Seventh Symphony is often seen as his most complete, especially among musicians.
** Some would also give this distinction to his Grosse Fuge for string quartet, which combined sonata, fugue, and variation forms, and somehow still sounds contemporary even today.
* [[JohannSebastianBach J. S. Bach's]] ''Well-Tempered Clavier''. There are other contenders, though.
* Any modern band will have fans heavily debate over which song or album was their true masterpiece, but above all certain works tend to stand out. While albums are most commonly referred to in this way, every so often an individual song makes its way to this level, so much that it becomes [[SignatureSong synonymous with the band itself]], is considered the grand statement of that band's career:
** TheEagles had ''Hotel California'', in both in the song and album categories.
** {{Queen}} had "Bohemian Rhapsody". For albums, ''A Night At The Opera'' usually wins.
** Music/GunsNRoses had "Sweet Child O' Mine", "Welcome to the Jungle" and "November Rain". Album is [[FirstInstallmentWins incontestably]] ''Appetite for Destruction'' (where both "Sweet Child" and "Jungle" originate).
* While everybody seems to have a favorite Music/TheBeatles album and a decent argument as to why, it's pretty widely agreed that ''Music/SgtPeppersLonelyHeartsClubBand'' is their most important album, and kind of changed the face of music.
** It's also said (especially among musicians) that ''Rubber Soul'', ''Revolver'', ''Music/TheWhiteAlbum'' and ''Music/AbbeyRoad'' were equally important and influential. It's even been said that when ''Sgt. Pepper'' isn't picked as the best album of all time, ''Revolver'' goes instead.
** Just as it's hard to pin down a single album as Music/TheBeatles' masterpiece, it's also hard to pin down a single song. Contenders include "A Hard Day's Night", "Let it Be", "Hey Jude", and especially "A Day in the Life".
* The BeastieBoys sophomore effort ''Paul's Boutique'' was so ahead of it's time (and quite a drastic departure from their previous album) that a majority of "[[MisaimedFandom fans]]", who they had reluctantly gained thanks to their former tongue-in-cheek frat boy image [[CompletelyMissingThePoint being taken seriously]], were completely polarized. It's only now been recognized as a masterpiece in later years.
** In a bit of FirstInstallmentWins, others also consider as a masterpiece debut album ''Licensed to Ill'', origin of "[[BlackSheepHit Fight For Your Right (To Party)]]" ([[CreatorBacklash the band itself has some shame of it]]).
* {{Nirvana}} had ''Nevermind'', which brought out alternative rock and remains to this day the most well known and well received {{Grunge}} album.
** Definitely a case of MagnumOpusDissonance for Cobain; he himself preferred ''In Utero''. Critics have also hailed ''MTV Unplugged in New York'' and ''Live at Reading'' as two of the greatest live albums of all time.
* {{Bauhaus}} produced four great albums in their short career, but their debut single "Bela Lugosi's Dead" (which was never part of an album to begin with) is still considered their masterpiece. The fact that it almost single-handedly invented {{Goth}} has added to the legend.
** Interestingly, the song was written as a tongue-in-cheek parody aimed at the post-punk proto-Goth scenesters who frequented Bauhaus shows; and was not particularly well-liked by the band for most of their existence.
* People were floored by JoyDivision's 1979 debut ''Unknown Pleasures'', but their second (and final) album ''Closer'' is considered by most to be their masterwork.
* The Welsh band ManicStreetPreachers have ''The Holy Bible'' as their magnum opus.
* Music/TheCure's 1989 album ''Disintegration'' bridges the gap between their {{Goth}} work and their pop work, and its large number of classic songs has made it their magnum opus.
* ''Debut'', ''Post'', and ''Homogenic'' are all in the running for {{Bjork}}.
* Of the various albums and spin-offs from the Music/WuTangClan, their debut ''Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers'' is still considered their definitive collaborative album; of side projects, GZA's ''Liquid Swords'' or Raekwon's ''Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...'' are typically cited as the masterpieces.
* [[Music/TheStooges Iggy Pop]]'s two most acclaimed and important albums as a solo artist are ''The Idiot'' and ''Lust For Life'', both of which were made in the same year and in collaboration with Music/DavidBowie.
* Music/DavidBowie has gone through so many ch-ch-ch-ch-changes that it's nearly impossible to pin down one, as they're all different. ''Hunky Dory'', ''Ziggy Stardust'', and ''Low'' are usually at the top for him.
* ''The Downward Spiral'' by NineInchNails is still the most oft-cited magnum opus of Trent Reznor, though, all of NIN's other albums have their fans, particularly ''The Fragile''. Except probably ''With Teeth'', which remains something of a bastard child, though some will admit that it's a good album to introduce people to the band with.
* Britpop band Music/{{Pulp}} have their magnum opus in 1995's ''Different Class'', while their contemporaries Music/{{Blur}} have 1994's ''Parklife''.
* Music/{{Metallica}}'s ''Master of Puppets'', although the self-titled album, ''...And Justice for All'' and ''Ride the Lightning'' have plenty of fans as well. ''Master of Puppets'' is generally considered by critics to be the greatest heavy metal album ever recorded, or at least very close to it.
** [[WordOfGod Lars Ulrich]] has said that he considers ''.....And Justice For All'' to be their best work.
*** And most fans will tell you [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WM8bTdBs-cw ''One'']] or Blackened is the best song on the album.
* Music/{{Slayer}}'s ''Reign in Blood''.
** ''Seasons in the Abyss'' has it's fans as well.
* Music/{{Megadeth}}'s ''Peace Sells...But Who's Buying?'', ironically released the same year as ''Master of Puppets'' and ''Reign In Blood''. ''Rust In Peace'', though, is often held up at the same level as ''Peace Sells...'', mostly ending up a matter of personal preference.
* Avant Garde metal band Arcturus' album ''La Masquerade Infernale'' is considered by many fans to be one of the best examples of avant garde metal.
* MichaelJackson's ''Music/{{Thriller}}'' is regarded as this, though some will contest ''Bad'', ''Off the Wall'', or even ''Dangerous''. What is not contestable, however, is the fact that ''Thriller'' is the best selling album '''of all time.'''
* Music/{{ACDC}}'s ''Back In Black''. After their original singer [[TheBandMinusTheFace Bon Scott died]] they were first thinking about quitting. Then they instead hired Brian Johnson (who Scott was a huge fan of) and recorded a new album in only a few months. It produced some of their most famous songs, like "Hells Bells", "You Shook Me All Night Long" and the title track. It is the best selling rock album of all-time and second overall behind ''Thriller''.
* Music/PinkFloyd's ''Music/TheDarkSideOfTheMoon'', although some would contest ''Music/TheWall'' (which, regardless, is undoubtedly the magnum opus of Floyd's Roger Waters).
** Either those or ''The Piper At The Gates of Dawn'' (with Syd Barrett at the helm) or ''Wish You Were Here'' (the favorite album of David Gilmour and Richard Wright).
** The Dark Side of the Moon is the third best-selling album of all-time though, coming right behind the aforementioned Back in Black by AC/DC.
* Music/MyBloodyValentine's ''Loveless''. Kevin Shields worked on that thing for two years and nearly bankrupted Creation Records.
** They later more than made it up with what's considered {{Music/Oasis}}' magnum opus, ''(What's the Story) Morning Glory''. Though [[FirstInstallmentWins its predecessor]], ''Definitely Maybe'', is just as popular.
* With {{Prince}}, it's ''Purple Rain'', ''Sign o' the Times'' and ''1999''.
* {{XTC}} has ''Skylarking''.
* TheStoneRoses have ''[[SelfTitledAlbum The Stone Roses]]''
* Music/{{Motorhead}} have ''Ace of Spades''.
* Music/ToriAmos' ''Little Earthquakes''.
* Music/{{Soundgarden}}'s ''Superunknown'', a bridge between their heavy metal and experimental leanings.
** ''Badmotorfinger'' can also be this for fans that prefer their earlier albums.
* KateBush's ''Hounds of Love''.
* {{Radiohead}}'s ''OK Computer''. Though there's a bit of a BrokenBase over whether it's actually either ''The Bends'' or ''Kid A'' that counts as their magnum opus.
* Music/BruceSpringsteen's big breakout, ''Born to Run'' is generally regarded as his best, although ''Born in the U.S.A.'' was more successful.
* {{Nas}}' debut album, ''Illmatic''.
* LizPhair's ''Exile in Guyville''.
* ''Pet Sounds'' is considered this for TheBeachBoys.
** ''Smile'' [[WhatMightHaveBeen might well have become this too]].
* [[WolfgangAmadeusMozart Mozart's]] is usually cited as his 41st (final) symphony, his Requiem Mass, or The Magic Flute.
* DepecheMode's ''Violator'' is generally considered their finest album by the media, the band, their associates, and a sizable chunk of their fanbase, as well as being their most successful album with their highest-charting and best-known singles. It's not uncommon for their live setlist to be at least 25% ''Violator'' songs.
* TheSmiths' ''The Queen Is Dead'', though Morrissey and Marr both insist that their last album, ''Strangeways, Here We Come'' was their best.
* For Music/{{Mayhem}}, their second release, ''De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas'', is often not only considered their Magnum Opus, but the Magnum Opus for the genre of BlackMetal as a whole.
** As for other BlackMetal bands:
*** Music/{{Burzum}}: ''Filosofem''
*** Music/{{Darkthrone}}: ''Transylvanian Hunger'' or ''A Blaze in the Northern Sky''
*** Music/{{Emperor}}: ''In the Nightside Eclipse''
*** Music/{{Immortal}}: ''At the Heart of Winter''
*** Music/DimmuBorgir: ''Stormblast'' or ''Enthrone Darkness Triumphant''
*** Music/{{Gorgoroth}}: ''Under the Sign of Hell''
*** Music/{{Marduk}}: ''Opus Nocturne''
*** Music/CradleOfFilth: ''Dusk...and Her Embrace'' or ''Midian''
*** Music/CelticFrost: ''To Mega Therion''
*** Musc/{{Venom}}: ''Welcome to Hell''
*** Music/{{Bathory}}: ''Blood Fire Death''
*** Music/{{Sigh}}: ''Scorn Defeat'' or ''Imaginary Sonicscape''
*** Music/AnaalNathrakh: ''Hell is Empty...and All the Devils are Here''
*** Blut Aus Nord: ''The Work Which Transforms God''
*** Deathspell Omega: ''Si Momentum Requires, Circumspice''
*** Sacramentum: ''Far Away From the Sun''
*** Dissection: ''Storm of the Light's Bane''
*** Samael: ''Ceremony of Opposites''
* [[ToughActToFollow While they made many good albums]] Music/PearlJam knew that their first album ''Ten'' is theirs. But for a good reason. Although Eddie Vedder has said that he can't listen to the early albums anymore.
* With ''London Calling'' TheClash moved beyond ThreeChordsAndTheTruth, instead seeking influence from everything from 50's rock n' roll to reggae.
** Their next album ''Sandinista!'' goes even more over-the-top than London Calling and is more of their underground Magnum Opus than anything. They explore dub and electronica and even had the first white rap song, predating Blondies "Rapture" by a few months.
* Music/IronMaiden's is [[BrokenBase debatably]] ''The Number of the Beast'', although ''Piece of Mind'' is usually close behind (it's even the favorite by leader Steve Harris and singer Music/BruceDickinson). ''Powerslave'' is also a popular choice (though it's a point of contention whether the 4 less-known tracks are as good as the four hits). As far as songs go, the popular vote is typically on "[[AudienceParticipationSong Fear of the Dark]]", "Hallowed Be Thy Name", or "[[EpicRocking Rime of the Ancient Mariner]]".
* SarahMcLachlan's ''Fumbling Towards Ecstasy'' .
* SigurRos' ''Ágætis byrjun''.
* {{Opeth}}'s ''Blackwater Park'' is considered by both the band and the fanbase as their magnum ''Opeth''.
* Music/{{Rush}}'s album ''Moving Pictures'' is generally considered theirs.
** A strong case can also be made for ''2112'' for obvious reasons. [[CanadaEh This is a rather large feud among fans, and likely the only feud among Rush fans]].
*** Other strong contenders include ''Power Windows'', ''Hemispheres'', ''Permanent Waves'', and the latest, ClockworkAngels. Leads to MagnumOpusDissonance, as drummer & lyricist Neil Peart thinks their best album is ''Clockwork Angels''.
* Music/DefLeppard has either ''Pyromania'' or ''Hysteria'' (or possibly both) as their greatest work.
* Music/TheSmashingPumpkins third album, ''Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness'', is generally considered by critics and fans to be their greatest work. That, or ''Siamese Dream''.
* Music/AlanisMorissette has yet to release anything as well-acclaimed as ''Jagged Little Pill''
* PublicEnemy's second album, ''It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back'' is generally cited to be their best and most influential album, but others give this label to their third album, ''Fear Of A Black Planet''. "Fight The Power" usually wins for songs.
* All of Gustav Mahler's works are masterpieces, but which is really his Magnum Opus is widely debated, and often comes down to personal preference. However, the strongest arguments can be made for his 8th symphony (owing to the fact that is takes some 600 performers to do justice), his final song cycle Das Lied von der Erde, or his 9th Symphony.
* MariahCarey's fans seem to be between ''Daydream'' and ''Butterfly''.
* WhitneyHouston's, ironically enough, was her soundtrack album for ''TheBodyguard''.
* Benjamin Britten's ''War Requiem''.
* MeatLoaf has ''Bat Out of Hell''. For songs, either the title track or "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" depending on your taste in music. The fanbase is generally split in opinion.
* Music/BlackSabbath's is generally considered to be ''Paranoid'' or ''Heaven and Hell''. Music/OzzyOsbourne says that ''Sabbath Bloody Sabbath'' was the band's pinnacle.
* For the BarenakedLadies, it's probably "Stunt", at least during the time that Steve Page was with the band. "Gordon" and "Barenaked Ladies Are Me" both have minority support, though.
* Tchaikovsky's fans will usually say it's the 1812 Overture, or the Nutcracker ballet. Critics will also often submit Swan Lake, or his 4th or 6th symphonies.
* PaulSimon's ''Graceland'', which singlehandedly revitalized his career.
* Stevie Wonder's ''Songs In the Key of Life''
* TheWho has several candidates, ''{{Tommy}}'' - the first RockOpera to be a mainstream hit, ''Live At Leeds''- a live album considered to be one of, if not ''the'' best live rock albums ever (and the newer version has most of ''Tommy'' in there), ''Who's Next'', the source of 3 of their biggest hits and codifying the use of synthesizers in mainstream music, and ''Quadrophenia'', a fan favorite.
** Pete Townshend has called ''Quadrophenia'' his Magnum Opus.
* BobDylan has several candidates just on the virtue of having taken on so many different variations of his style in his career but usually ''Highway 61 Revisited'', ''Blood on The Tracks'' and ''Blonde on Blonde'' are given this accolade, with ''Bringing It All Back Home'' also having a claim.
* Music/BryanAdams' ''Reckless'' or ''Cuts Like A Knife''
* KitchensOfDistinction have one of the most acclaimed albums of 1992, ''The Death Of Cool'' and is probably one of the most underrated albums of the 1990s.
* CatherineWheel have ''Ferment'' on their belt, though some may say ''Chrome'' is better.
* CocteauTwins have ''Heaven Or Las Vegas'' and ''Treasure''.
* Music/DwightYoakam released two of the most critically acclaimed albums of the late 80s and early 90s, ''Buenas Notches From A Lonely Room'' and ''This Time''. Both albums are extremely influential even outside their genre. Another album, ''3 Pears'', is getting this type of recognition for his latter-half career.
* {{Slint}}'s ''Spiderland'' almost single-handedly started the whole PostRock movement.
** It's only "almost" because they share this distinction with TalkTalk, whose final two albums (''Spirit Of Eden'' and ''Laughing Stock'') collectively qualify as that band's MagnumOpus.
** Now there's a third artist that's considered to be one of the first PostRock bands, Music/{{Codeine}} whose debut album ''Frigid Stars LP'' single-handedly heavily influenced the genre and completely kick-started {{Slowcore}}
** Although ''Frigid Stars'' is the album credited for pioneering slowcore, many fans view the ''Barely Real'' EP or ''The White Birch'' as their magnum opus.
* Music/TalkingHeads' ''Remain In Light'', one of the great albums of the PostPunk period and perhaps the band's greatest achievement. Meanwhile, ''Stop Making Sense'' is considered the greatest concert film and many fans prefer the live versions of songs from the film's soundtrack over the studio versions.
** Other contenders include ''Fear Of Music'' and the double live album ''The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads''.
* {{Eminem}}'s is ''The Marshall Mathers LP'', or alternatively, ''The Eminem Show''. ''The Marshall Mathers LP 2'' cannot be denied either. Lose Yourself is widely regarded as his best song, with Stan as a close runner-up.
* SufjanStevens' is ''Illinois''. It was the album that made him a superstar of the indie scene, was (according to Metacritic) tied for the position of most-critically-praised album of 2005, and is still widely considered one of the best of that decade.
* RedHousePainters have about 3 albums considered to be their masterwork. For most critics and fans the first SelfTitledAlbum (retitled ''Rollercoaster'' to help distinguish between this and the sister self-titled, ''Bridge'') and ''Ocean Beach''. However, 1997's ''Songs For A Blue Guitar'' has also been considered the band's best work, but a lot of critical opinion on it tends to split between incredibly brilliant to SoOkayItsAverage.
** The only reason why ''Songs For A Blue Guitar'' got such seemingly lukewarm reviews is because it isn't a true RedHousePainters album. It was intended to be a Mark Kozelek solo album but was slapped with the RHP moniker in hopes it would sell more. All fans and critics tend to agree, however, that the album is Kozelek's best solo album, surpassing everything he previously did with RHP and anything he would later do with Sun Kil Moon.
** Sun Kil Moon have 2 albums that are contenders for the "magnum opus" label, ''Ghosts Of The Great Highway'' and ''April''.
* FiveIronFrenzy wrote a song, "So Far, So Bad", humorously claiming that the greatest song they ever wrote was going to remain unpublished because [[TheMan the record labels and radio stations]] didn't like it. ''"We were gonna have our glorious exit, / an admonition and an encore. / We were gonna make a point to the whole world / but no one wants to hear it anymore."''
** In at least one live show, Reese Roper jokingly claimed that "Pootermobile" was their magnum opus. For the record, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Pz7lf23Ip8 this is "Pootermobile".]]
* Many fans and critics agree that ''Ray of Light'' was {{Madonna}}'s best work to date.
** ''Like A Prayer'' also has been hailed as one of her masterpieces. Both albums are equally critically acclaimed.
* Music/LedZeppelin's [[NoTitle untitled]] fourth album (often called ''Led Zeppelin IV'') is considered their most accomplished.
** In a case of MagnumOpusDissonance, the band actually considered ''Physical Graffiti'' (singling out the song "Kashmir") their finest artistic accomplishment, if only for the GenreRoulette.
** This is the same case with songs. "StairwayToHeaven" is obviously their best known track, but they themselves view "Kashmir" as their magnum opus.
* For the Music/TheRollingStones, it's ''Exile on Main Street''.
* DaveMatthewsBand's ''Before These Crowded Streets''.
* Sade's ''Love Deluxe''.
* Hüsker Dü released two equally strong candidates in a row, ''Zen Arcade'' and ''New Day Rising''. Both are brimming with excellent tunes and respectively set the precedents for post-hardcore and alternative rock.
* For Music/{{Beck}}, it's either ''Odelay'' or ''Sea Change''.
* ''Daydream Nation'' for SonicYouth.
* ''13 Songs'' for Fugazi (or, to narrow it down to a single track, "Waiting Room").
* ''Paradise Don't Come Cheap'' for Music/NewKingdom
* Music/TheNational has ''Boxer'', ''High Violet'', ''Alligator'' and ''Trouble Will Find Me''.
* For a long time {{Mayhem}}'s first "proper" album, ''De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas'', was considered their best (not just of the band, but of BlackMetal as a genre), but following the release of their fourth album ''Ordo Ad Chao'', disputes began to develop.
* Burzum's third album, ''Hvis lyset tar oss'', is frequently considered their best and the defining template for the ambient black metal sub-genre.
* Converge's fifth album, ''Jane Doe'', is considered this, although their album ''Axe to Fall'' has been called this as well.
* The Dillinger Escape Plan's debut album, ''Calculating Infinity'', is considered this, much to the [[ToughActToFollow band's own chagrin]].
* Music/DixieChicks have two of the strongest received country albums of the late 1990s: ''Wide Open Spaces'' and ''Fly''. Their strongest received album altogether, though, is 2002's ''Home'', often cited as the best of the decade and sometimes even one of the best country albums of all time.
* ''TroutMaskReplica'' for most fans of CaptainBeefheart.
* ''Aqualung'' and[=/=]or ''Thick As A Brick'' for JethroTull.
* KanyeWest's is the critically acclaimed ''MyBeautifulDarkTwistedFantasy'', which got perfect or near perfect reviews from pratically ''everyone'' upon its release (with its Metacritic score being a rare high of 94) and it ended up either very high on or topping a lot of end of year best-of lists.
** And ''All of the Lights (Interlude)''/ ''All of the Lights'', from the above album, is widely considered to be one of the greatest songs he's ever done.
* {{U2}} is generally considered the 'American' sounding ''The Joshua Tree'', but some consider it the 'European' sounding ''Achtung Baby'';
* FaithNoMore has ''Angel Dust'', widely considered a landmark of alternative rock with its [[NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly weird genre mixtures]]. (though others go for predecessor ''The Real Thing'', which has their SignatureSong "Epic").
* The AllThatRemains album, ''The Fall of Ideals'', is generally considered their best.
* ''September'' is usually considered this for EarthWindAndFire.
* Music/DreamTheater's magnum opus is either "Metropolis Part 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper" or "A Change of Seasons". Both are grand, epic progressive pieces that truly exemplify the band's gimmick. Alternatively, the Dance of Eternity is their magnum opus based solely on the immense musical complexity of the track - and that said about a band whose use of UncommonTime is through the roof.
* TheVelvetUnderground's ''Music/TheVelvetUndergroundAndNico'' is usually cited as their greatest work, not to mention the inventor of all non-mainstream rock.
* Curtis Mayfield with his soundtrack to the {{Blaxploitation}} film ''{{Superfly}}''.
* Asking a Music/KingCrimson fan what their best work is will vary depending on what era the fan is fond of. ''In The Court Of The Crimson King'', ''Red'' and ''Discipline'' are among the more frequent contenders.
* {{Coldplay}} has either the EvenBetterSequel ''A Rush of Blood to the Head'' or NewSoundAlbum ''Viva La Vida''.
* {{Billy Joel}} has ''Piano Man''.
** And ''The Stranger''.
* Love with ''Forever Changes''. In fact, frontman Arthur Lee was deliberately aiming for this trope, thinking he was going to die.
* For the death metal fans of Music/{{Amorphis}}, it's ''Tales From the Thousand Lakes''. ''Elegy'' is also regarded as a classic in '90s Finnish heavy metal. For the newer fans, ''Skyforger'' tends to stand out.
* ''Oceanborn'' is rather consistently regarded as ''the'' Music/{{Nightwish}} album by older fans, while ''Once'' or ''Dark Passion Play'' are their most well-known and successful.
* Music/{{Kataklysm}} fans are divided on which of the band's best albums are, but ''Sorcery'', ''Temple of Knowledge'', ''Serenity in Fire'', and ''Epic: The Poetry of War'' are the most commonly stated albums to be their best.
* TheMarsVolta fans consider ''De-Loused in the Comatorium'' their best work, while ''The Bedlam in Goliath'' would be their most critically acclaimed album because of its slightly more mainstream sound.
* TupacShakur, as well as his fans, consider ''Me Against the World'' his best work.
* For Dr. Dre, not only was ''The Chronic'' his best album, but its now considered one of the most successful cross-over rap albums in music history.
* Music/{{Korn}} albums are highly debated among fans. But it usually comes down to their ''Self-Titled'' album, ''Life is Peachy,'' ''Follow the Leader'', or ''Untouchable''. But if you want the opinion of a band member, Jonathan Davis claims ''Untouchable'' was their masterpiece.
* The RedHotChiliPeppers fans will either tell you that ''Blood Sugar Sex Magik'' is their best album, or ''Californication''.
* Music/AliceInChains, best album was ''Dirt'' according to most fans. Mainly, because of the perception that the whole album was a huge confession and cry for help about Layne Staley's drug addiction, which he later died from.
* ''White Pony'' is considered the best album by {{Deftones}}, while some fans suggest that ''Around the Fur'' was their best work.
* {{Music/Underworld}}: ''Beaucoup Fish''.
* For most RageAgainstTheMachine fans, either their ''Self-Titled'' album is their best work, or ''Evil Empire''. While ''Battle for Los Angeles'' is their most critically acclaimed album.
* Ask any FallOutBoy fan what their favorite album is, and you're almost always going to get ''Take This To Your Grave''.
* For MaydayParade, it's normally ''A Lesson In Romantics'', although some fans consider it to be ''Tales Told by Dead Friends''.
* All of {{Can}}'s first five albums are considered to be the band's best by many people. However, ''Tago Mago'' is the most picked of the albums, with ''Ege Bamyasi'' coming in second place.
* Music/CreedenceClearwaterRevival with ''Cosmo's Factory''.
* Music/GreenDay has either ''Dookie'' or ''AmericanIdiot''.
* For Music/DaftPunk, it's either ''Discovery'' or ''Random Access Memories''. Their soundtrack for ''Film/TronLegacy'' is also held in high regard.
* Fans of Music/ArcadeFire generally agree that either Funeral or The Suburbs are the band's greatest achievements. Many argue that their soundtrack to ''Her'' is their best work, also.
* Music/{{Suffocation}}: Their debut ''Effigy of the Forgotten'', which single-handedly created and set the direction of Brutal DeathMetal, as well as re-writing the rules for TechnicalDeathMetal and even laying the groundwork for Slam Death (and, after a fashion and a few mutations, {{Deathcore}}). Although a few give the nod to their third album, ''Pierced from Within'', which shows them at the peak of their songwriting and technical virtuosity, along with one of the best production jobs of their career.
* ''Rust in Peace'' is widely considered to be Music/{{Megadeth}}'s best work, as well as one of the best ThrashMetal albums ever.
** ''Peace Sells...'' also has its fans. Post-hiatus, ''Endgame'' is considered the best modern Megadeth release.
* ScarSymmetry has ''Holographic Universe'', widely regarded as one of the best MelodicDeathMetal albums of the late 2000s.
* If you ask a Music/{{Meshuggah}} fan what the band's finest work is, chances are a lot of them will point to ''obZen'', [[FollowTheLeader despite the fact its sound became redundant after it got imitated by hundreds of other bands.]]
* Music/BlindGuardian's ''Nightfall in Middle Earth'' is not only considered to be the band's best work, but also argued to be the greatest PowerMetal album ever released.
* Music/{{Yes}} had either the prog-rock masterpiece ''Close to the Edge'', or the album that brought them back from irrelevancy and reinvented them as a pop-rock group, ''90125''. There is a massive BrokenBase among fans regarding this question (though some fans TakeAThirdOption and regard them both as the high points of two vastly different artistic periods of the band)
* Music/{{Gorillaz}}' ''Demon Days'' is their highest acclaimed album but in a case of personal preference for many fans it's ''[[FirstInstallmentWins Gorillaz'']]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Pinball]]
* Either ''Pinball/TheAddamsFamily'' or ''Pinball/TheTwilightZone'' for Creator/PatLawlor, depending on personal preference.
* ''Pinball/Terminator2JudgmentDay'' for Creator/SteveRitchie.
* ''Pinball/TalesFromTheCrypt'' for Creator/JohnBorg.
* ''Pinball/TheLordOfTheRings'' for Creator/GeorgeGomez.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Sports]]
* Hakeem Olajuwon's 1993-94 season, winning the MVP, Finals MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards.
* Tim Duncan's 2002-03 season, especially the finals series against the New Jersey Nets.
* Shaquille O'Neal's 1999-2000 season, in which he captured the MVP, All-star Game MVP and Finals MVP.
* Georges St. Pierre's TKO victory against Matt Hughes.
** How can you mention Matt Hughes without citing his victory over Frank Trigg at UFC 52? Matt survived an accidental low blow, a pummeling, a near submission, then got up, PICKED UP TRIGG AND RAN ACROSS THE OCTAGON WITH HIM, threw him down, returned the pummeling, and got a submission of his own.
*** Because his comeback victory over BJ Penn (a man who beat Hughes once before) is more impressive. Hughes was behind on the scorecards, getting pummeled standing up and Penn's brazilian jiu-jitsu was giving Hughes problems on the ground. And yet, Hughes finished Penn late in the fight through sheer determination.
* Chuck Liddell's first victory over Randy Couture.
* The Los Angeles Lakers 1971-1972 season, winning 33 in a row and grabbing the title.
* Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the 1995-96 season, becoming the first team in NBA history to win 70 regular season games (they won 72 and only lost 10) and cruising to Jordan's 4th title.
* LeBron James' 2011-12 season, winning the MVP and finals MVP.
* World champion chess player (and world-champion-caliber {{Jerkass}}) Bobby Fischer produced the win dubbed by commentators "The Game of The Century" when he was ''13 years old''.
* Michael Phelps at the 2008 Summer OlympicGames in Beijing, setting the record for most golds in one Olympics (8), taking gold in every event he was in.
* In [[TheBeautifulGame Association Football]], many players, coaches and managers are considered to have been so influential on their teams that they are deemed the equivalent of cinema's "auteurs". The crowning achievements of their teams can be considered to be their magnum opus:
** For Sir Alex Ferguson, a well-remembered British manager in history, it is the 1999 league/cup/European Cup treble with Manchester United.
** For Pep Guardiola and Lionel Messi's Barcelona, it is the 5-0 ("la manita") demolition of Real Madrid in 2010. This mirrored the achievement of Johan Cruyff, Barcelona's most influential player and manager, whose 5-0 defeat of Madrid in 1974 set the seeds for Barcelona's future success.
** The 1967-68 season is seen as this for George Best of Northern Ireland. Widely regarded as the greatest player to never play at a world cup and one of the greatest period, he rose to the forefront at Manchester United during that season, leading the team to the European Cup, becoming the fist english team to do so, and winning the equivalent of the european player of the year. Sadly he would waste his talent on booze and gambling in the years after.
** The Brazilian team that won the [[TheWorldCup 1970 World Cup]] is often considered the best squad ever assembled.
* In 2007, Peyton Manning finally shook off the cobwebs and led his [[UsefulNotes/AmericanFootball Indianapolis Colts]] to a Super Bowl victory after ''years'' of [[EveryYearTheyFizzleOut playoff mishaps]].
* Super Bowl XLII. On one side, the undefeated Patriots, who'd soundly thrashed every team before them. On the other, the New York Giants, who came out of nowhere with an unexpected postseason run. The Giants proceeded to win the game in what's generally considered one of the [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome defining moments]] of UsefulNotes/AmericanFootball.
* MuhammadAli's brilliant tactic to beat seemly invincible "Big" George Foreman in Zaire Africa.
* Sugar Ray Leonard making the feared Roberto Duran quit in the middle of their rematch, after losing to him in their first boxing match.
* [[http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xw74ca_formula-1-donington-1993-start_sport The first lap]] of the 1993 European Grand Prix for [[FormulaOne Ayrton Senna]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* Creator/WilliamShakespeare is an interesting case. The Bard wrote so many incredible, famous, and influential plays that scholars have quite a few options when debating which play was his greatest. ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' is a common contender, and is probably Shakespeare's most famous and most analyzed play, and is often cited as one of the greatest, if not ''the'' greatest, work of English literature ''ever''. Meanwhile, ''Theatre/KingLear'' started overtaking ''Hamlet'' in later years in consideration for "Shakespeare's Greatest Work" as judged by the {{Literature}} Professors of the world. Overall, the title of "Shakespeare's greatest play" tends to jump back and forth between ''Lear'', ''Hamlet'', and ''Theatre/{{Othello}}''.
* For Creator/CirqueDuSoleil, the non-touring show ''Theatre/{{O}}'' is generally regarded as the company's greatest achievement. Among the tours, ''Theatre/{{Alegria}}'' holds this position. Both were written and directed by Franco Dragone, who now works independently of the company, and will probably serve as ''his'' dual magnum opuses for years to come despite such solo successes as Celine Dion's popular Las Vegas show ''A New Day''.
* George Gershwin's ''Porgy and Bess''.
* For Creator/StephenSondheim, it's either ''Theatre/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet'', or ''Theatre/WestSideStory'', although he considers his best work to be ''Theatre/{{Assassins}}''.
* ''Theatre/TheRingOfTheNibelung'' by Creator/RichardWagner.
* ''Theatre/TheMikado'' by Creator/GilbertAndSullivan, notable in that rather than being especially "avant garde" it is very accessible. It also had a record setting original run of '''672''' consecutive performances.
* ''Theatre/DeathOfASalesman'' is not only Arthur Miller's greatest achievement, it is commonly considered the greatest American play.
* ''Theatre/AStreetcarNamedDesire'' for Creator/TennesseeWilliams.
** ''Theatre/CatOnAHotTinRoof'' is also a contender; it was Williams' personal favorite of his plays and his other Pulitzer Prize winner.
* Creator/OscarWilde and ''Theatre/TheImportanceOfBeingEarnest''.
* Creator/AndrewLloydWebber's ''Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera''. ''Theatre/{{Evita}}'' is often mentioned as well, as is ''Theatre/{{Cats}}''.
* ''Theatre/{{Wicked}}'' for Creator/StephenSchwartz.
* ''Theatre/TheSoundOfMusic'' is often hailed as the frontrunner for RodgersAndHammerstein, although ''Theatre/{{Oklahoma}}!'' wouldn't be out of the running.
* ''Theatre/LesMiserables'' by Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil, the longest-running, most-performed work of musical theater ever written.
* ''Theatre/{{Faust}}'' for Creator/JohannWolfgangVonGoethe.
* Music/GioachinoRossini would have ''Theater/TheBarberOfSeville'' as his.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* Ride/UniversalStudios
** For park fans, to date nothing has been able to top ''Kongfrontation'' in terms of originality, production value and realism. Especially when it first opened.
** ''Spider-Man'' and ''Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey'' (both in the Islands of Adventure park at Universal Flordia) are alternatively considered this by many other fans due to, like Kongfrontation before them, both rides pioneering new, unproven ideas an technologies.
* For the Ride/DisneyThemeParks, the original ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' ride is considered Imagineering's finest achievement in ride design.
* [[{{Ride/SixFlags}} Six Flags's]] crowning achievement would be X (now X2), not only for being the first multidimensional coaster ever made, but also one of the very few of its kind.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
!!Games
* Either the ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' or ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' series for Creator/ShigeruMiyamoto. As for individual games, there are numerous candidates from either series.
** For Mario, while many fans will be quick to point to ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3'', Shigeru Miyamoto himself has said that ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld'' is [[http://www.joystiq.com/2010/11/09/super-mario-world-is-miyamotos-favorite-mario-game/ his favorite Mario game.]]
** Most critics look to ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'' as the MagnumOpus of the ''Zelda'' series (despite that annoying [[StopHelpingMe fairy]] and [[ShallIRepeatThat owl]]), and the title holds top honors on a vast number of professional "Best Games of All Time" lists. The pinnacle of the series is extremely debated among fans. ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast A Link to the Past]]'' is considered a tough contender, and ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask Majora's Mask]]'' has had a sudden outbreak in popularity. Either way, Eiji Aonuma considers ''Ocarina of Time'' itself his favorite game, to the point that he expressed desire to surpass it with a new game someday.
* Hironobu Sakaguchi's ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series. Out of all the games, he considers ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' to be his favorite.[[note]]Uematsu also considers ''IX'' to be ''his'' finest work[[/note]] Given the fans, this is hotly debated, with ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'', ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'', and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' being other contenders. Some cases also exist for ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'', ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII''. VI and IX have the highest ratings (as seen in the Other Wiki's Final Fantasy article). With Final Fantasy IX having the highest Metacritic score and Final Fantasy VI having the highest GameRankings Score, while VII is considered the biggest game changer in terns of graphics(as it was the first to shift to 3D) combat, as well as presentation(cinematic cutscenes blending with normal gameplay).
* ''KingdomHearts'' (and within that series probably ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep Birth By Sleep]]'') or ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'' for TetsuyaNomura.
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuestV'' for Yuji Horii. Or, if you're willing to count [[DreamTeam team-ups]], ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger''.
* Alexey Pajitnov had the original falling-block odyssey, ''VideoGame/{{Tetris}}''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Rayman 2}}: The Great Escape'' and ''VideoGame/RaymanOrigins'' are this for the ''VideoGame/{{Rayman}}'' franchise, the aforementioned games and ''VideoGame/BeyondGoodAndEvil'' are this for Michael Ancel's works, and all of those combined with ''Franchise/AssassinsCreed'' are this for Ubisoft as a whole.
* Richard Garriott had ''Franchise/{{Ultima}}''.
** And from that series, ''VideoGame/UltimaIV'', lauded by game developers today as a standard which has yet to be matched. This is a game from ''1985''.
** ''VideoGame/UltimaVII'' may not match it in influence, but these days it commands even more respect as a whole. Both of the games are considering some of the best PC [=WRPGs=] ever made.
* It might be easy to say ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight'' is Koji Igarashi's magnum opus, but that honor is better stated to go to Toru Hagihara, as he served as director and producer. Hagihara was designer and/or producer of almost every ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' game to that point, and so ''Symphony'' is more logically the endpoint of everything he worked towards, while this was only the second game Igarashi worked on. For fans, it's ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaRondoOfBlood'' instead.
* Regarding Igarashi, another candidate is ''TokimekiMemorial 1''. Its success in Japan was ''wild'', and thanks to this, Igarashi was rewarded with the ability to work on the ''Castlevania'' series.
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' for HideoKojima. The fandom as a whole is largely divided between which of the series' is the better one, the debate being mainly centered around [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid Solid]], [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2 2]], [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3 3]], or [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4 4]], for vastly different reasons. Regardless of Kojima's official stand, the controversy over this tends to get out of hand. Worth mentioning is the portion of Kojima's fanbase that defends VideoGame/ZoneOfTheEnders as his MagnumOpus even though he only produced it, he didn't write the story, direct it, or anything, just gave money towards it.
* Thanks to the BrokenBase of the ''[[Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog Sonic]]'' fanbase, fans can't agree on which 2D Sonic game is the best: ''VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles'', ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2'', or ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehogCD''.
** When it comes to the 3D games, it is either between ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'', or ''VideoGame/SonicGenerations''.
* Either the ''VideoGame/{{Kirby}}'' franchise or the ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros.'' games for Masahiro Sakurai, depending on whom you ask. Even picking out individual games for those franchises gets iffy, although ''VideoGame/KirbySuperStar'' and ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBrosMelee'' stand out. ''VideoGame/KidIcarusUprising'' is also among his contenders.
* By the judgment of many fans, sales numbers and WordOfGod, Keiji Inafune's greatest work will always be ''VideoGame/MegaMan2''.
** ''VideoGame/MegaMan3'' would be a very close second then, followed ''maybe'' by ''VideoGame/MegaManX[=1=]'' or ''X4'' (even though Inafune said ''3'' [[MagnumOpusDissonance was his least favorite Mega Man game]]).
** Meanwhile, ''VideoGame/MegaManV'' is this for the Game Boy sub-series and the team from Minakuchi Engineering, the company behind most of its installments.
* Any gamer that has ever played a game on the go will agree that GunpeiYokoi's magnum opus is the original GameBoy. And as far as software goes, his magnum opus is considered to be the ''VideoGame/{{Metroid}}'' series, ''Super Metroid'' in particular.
* Related to the above example, for RetroStudios the ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'' trilogy was thought as this for many years until ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountryReturns'', which is said to contend heavily for that title.
* Either ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'', ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'', ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'', or the ''VideoGame/{{Half-Life}}'' series for Creator/ValveSoftware. Another candidate is {{Steam}}, not only their potential Magnum Opus as a company, but for online game distribution as a whole.
* Critics have hailed ''RockBand 3'' as this for studio Harmonix: the culmination of their 15 years of making music games as well as the best music game ''ever''.
* ''VideoGame/CaveStory'' for Studio Pixel (Daisuke Amaya).
* ''[[VideoGame/FatalFury Garou: Mark of the Wolves]]'' for SNK, one of the last games the company released before its unfortunate bankruptcy in 2000. Considering that SNK has amassed a surprisingly large HateDumb by fans of the fighting genre, the fact that SNK fans and non-supporters ''alike'' consider this to be the last great SNK game should be telling within itself.
** ''VideoGame/TheLastBlade'' series as a whole is a close second.
** ''[[VideoGame/MetalSlug Metal Slug 3]]'' is a top contender as well.
* ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom2'' for the ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom'' series if not for all the CapcomVsWhatever games.
* Either ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'' or ''ViewtifulJoe'' for CloverStudios (before going bankrupt, disbanding from {{Capcom}}, and forming PlatinumGames).
** Out of all the games PlatinumGames has made, ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta}}'' and ''VideoGame/TheWonderful101'' are usually agreed to be the best.
* ''VideoGame/{{Earthbound}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER 3}}'' for ShigesatoItoi.
* id Software has been, especially in the 90's, a standard-setter in video games. Perhaps the best candidate for their MagnumOpus (and lead programmer John Carmack's) is ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'', their most universally acclaimed game, often considered a milestone. ''VideoGame/{{Quake}}'' is close behind due to its technological innovations.
* ''VideoGame/AnotherWorld'' for Eric Chahi. A timeless classic which made quite an impact at its time and was a pioneer of artistic games.
* ''VideoGame/DeusEx'' for IonStorm, which more than made up for their [[VideoGame/{{Daikatana}} infamous failed FPS]].
* Either the ''BaldursGate'' series or the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' trilogy for BioWare. Specifically for the latter, ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', by far Bioware's best reviewed and highest grossing game.
** The former can also be one for Black Isle Studios. That, the original ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' duology, or ''PlanescapeTorment''.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' for {{Creator/Bungie}}. "Halo 2" is generally the best regarded individually.
* ''VideoGame/PlantsVsZombies'' for PopCapGames, being their fastest-selling game and having won many awards.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Uncharted}}'' series for Creator/NaughtyDog. ''VideoGame/TheLastOfUs'' is another potential candidate, with near universal acclaim from critics and gamers alike.
* American [=McGee=] has ''VideoGame/AmericanMcGeesAlice'', cult classic and great game of its time, probably even more like a MagnumOpus than its sequel ''[[VideoGame/AliceMadnessReturns Madness Returns]]''.
* ''Creator/TelltaleGames'' can say without a doubt that ''VideoGame/TheWalkingDead'' is this for them.
* ''Knight Lore'' for Ultimate Play the Game. Set in a three-dimensional world and drawn using IsometricProjection (all of it on a ZXSpectrum), it was a revolutionary game at its time.
** For Ultimate's successor, {{Rare}}, ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry'' or ''VideoGame/{{Banjo-Kazooie}}''
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series is undoubtedly this for ''Creator/{{Bethesda}}'' with ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' appearing on top.
* For ''Creator/IrrationalGames'' it's either ''VideoGame/SystemShock2'' or ''Franchise/{{Bioshock}}'', for Bioshock it's a tie between ''VideoGame/{{Bioshock}}'' and ''VideoGame/BioshockInfinite''. However the Bioshock series as a whole definitely wins in the [[SceneryPorn visual department]] with ''Bioshock Infinite'' being the most impressive to look at.
* Either the Franchise/DotHack franchise or ''AsurasWrath'' probably qualify for this for CyberConnect2.
* As for ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'', ''VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver'' was for a very long time the only possible contender for the title of Magnum Opus - especially when ''[[UpdatedRerelease Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver]]'' were released. Then along came ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'', and it suddenly became a two-way battle for supremacy. Still, you [[FirstInstallmentWins can't deny]] the impact of ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue''.
** ''VideoGame/PokemonXAndY'' are receiving a great deal of praise as well lately, being hailed as a fusion of past and present for the franchise.
* ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty 4: ModernWarfare'' for Infinity Ward. It's confusing because Infinity Ward (used to) develop only ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'', but they rotate with Treyarch in making the individual games. Either way, the first Modern Warfare wins.
** For Treyarch, ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps'' is this for them. Because the game finally got them out of Infinity Ward's shadow with its superior campaign mode and the introduction of the surprisingly popular Zombie mode. ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps2'' is another strong contender, thanks to its campaign, which some consider the best of the entire series, and the advancements it made for both the multiplayer and Zombies mode.
* ''VideoGame/GunstarHeroes'' for Creator/{{Treasure}}.
* ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'' is this for Masato Kato.
* Averted with ''VideoGame/{{Xenoblade}}''. While Tetsuya Takahasi acknowledged that many fans consider it so, he has said that it was ''not'' his Magnum Opus. The reason? He felt like it set the standard for their games and he'd ''continue to improve upon it''.
* Either ''VideoGame/{{Killer7}}'', ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes'', or ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes2DesperateStruggle'' for {{Suda 51}}. ''VideoGame/LollipopChainsaw'' is also very loved too, but not as much as the others.
* ''LeagueOfLegends'' can reasonably be considered this for Riot Games, getting great reviews at its launch in spite of lacking several features that were considered standard fare for games of its type at the time (most have been added since), holding several awards and world records in the field of e-sports and being the most played video game in the world.
* Either ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' or ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' for the ''Persona'' series, and possibly even for the ShinMegamiTensei franchise as a whole (which one depends on who you ask; ''Persona 4'' is frequently considered the better one in the States, while in Japan 3 is more popular).
* ''[[VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft World of Warcraft]]'' is clearly this for the [[Creator/BlizzardEntertainment Blizzard]] part of Blizzard-Activision. That, or [[VideoGame/StarcraftII Starcraft II]].
* ''PacMan'' for Namco. ''Tekken'', the ''Soul'' series and ''RidgeRacer'' are close seconds.
* ''UltimateMortalKombat3'' was this for the entire MortalKombat series of games, especially as it was one of the last games produced before it hit the PolygonCeiling. Now, it's ''MortalKombat9'', which shows an astounding level of detail and work put into it, and was the only Kombat game since Ultimate to be deemed tournament worthy by the fighting game community.
* ''VideoGame/NieR'' is generally agreed to be this for the now-defunct cavia.inc and its director Taro Yoko.
* The ''GrandTheftAuto'' series is generally considered this for Rockstar Games, and also one for western video games. Within the series, the opus to end all opuses used to be ''GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas'', but with the release of ''GrandTheftAutoV'', ''San Andreas'' seems to have lost its title. There's a good reason it's the fastest-selling video game of all time. Other Rockstar contenders for this title include ''RedDeadRedemption'' and ''LANoire''.
* As far as gaming generations in general go, then either the 16 bit generation (SNES vs. Genesis), 6th generation (success of the PS2), or the 7th (Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360)

!!Game Soundtracks
* NobuoUematsu considers the soundtrack to ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' his greatest work. Like the games, the soundtracks are also heavily debated.
** As with the games, you will likely find VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV, VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI, and VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII in that list as decided by fans, though for individual songs there is quite the split among fans for whether "One-Winged Angel" or "Dancing Mad" is the greatest of Uematsu's sons. A case can also be made for "Balance is Restored" as well.
* Similar to ShigeruMiyamoto, Creator/KojiKondo's best work is also debated between the SuperMario and Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda series. And yes, inside each series you have several contenders.
* The soundtrack to ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'' for series composer Junichi Masuda.
* The soundtrack to ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry 2'' for David Wise.
* While YuzoKoshiro [[AwesomeMusic/YuzoKoshiro has had an entire career of awesome music]], his very best is a tie between ''[[StreetsOfRage Streets Of Rage 1 & 2]]'' and ''[[{{Shinobi}} The Revenge of Shinobi]]''.
* For YasunoriMitsuda it's debated between ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'', ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'' and ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}''.
* Chikayo Fukuda's music work on ''AsurasWrath'' is considered to be her all time best music. And this when her work on many other CyberConnect2 works ({{Solatorobo}}, The Manga/{{Naruto}} ultimate Ninja Games, and Franchise/DotHack amongst others) is already considered to be top notch.
* The ''VideoGame/MontyOnTheRun'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93nIljXpqUY theme]] for Rob Hubbard.
* MotoiSakuraba has several contenders scattered throughout the TalesSeries, ''Franchise/StarOcean'', ''BatenKaitos'' and ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'' franchises, as well as ''EternalSonata''.
* The Namco music team has definitely made many beautiful songs, but the best contenders as music Magnum Opus for them would be the ''Soul'' series (operatic, classical battle music) or ''Ridge Racer'' (ElectronicMusic).
* Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog for Jun Senoue.

!!Game Consoles
* For Nintendo, it seems no one can agree on which is their best system: [[SuperNintendoEntertainmentSystem SNES]], or [[{{Nintendo 64}} N64]].
** And as far as Nintendo handhelds go, it's either [[GameBoyAdvance GBA]], [[NintendoDS DS]], or [[Nintendo3DS 3DS]].
* For Sony, it's the PlayStation2, and the PlayStation3 once it began to redeem itself in 2008.
* Sega-wise, SegaGenesis/Mega Drive and SegaDreamcast.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novel]]
* Fans of Ryukishi 07 can't really decide which one of ''VisualNovel/HigurashiNoNakuKoroNi'' and ''VisualNovel/UminekoNoNakuKoroNi'' is his masterpiece (though a slight majority seams to be leaning towards Umineko). Even Ryukishi 07 himself can't decide on which one he prefers.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Homestuck'' by Andrew Hussie fits this category almost perfectly.
* Roger M. Wilcox is probably best known for ''TheIntercontinentalUnionOfDisgustingCharacters'', but he still considers his life's work to be ''Literature/ThePentagonWar''.
* Mateusz Skutnik considers ''CovertFront 3: Night In Zurich'' to be his greatest accomplishment.
* Serris considers ''Roleplay/DarwinsSoldiers'' to be the best online RP he has ever created or played.
* Creator/DougWalker of Website/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses has more than one, depending on the project or series.
** As far as the pre-revival [[WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic Nostalgia Critic]] videos go, he considers his review of ''Film/MoulinRouge'' to be his Magnum Opus, as evidenced by it being #1 in his "The Top 10 Nostalgia Critic Reviews" video.
** ''WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee''. He had a CreatorBreakdown trying to make it perfect, and while he bemoans that it still wasn't enough, he has enough pride to know it came pretty damn close.
** ''WebVideo/DemoReel'' was intended to be this, as it was the more serious, character-driven series Doug had wanted to do since 2008, but it was ScrewedByTheNetwork.
* ''[[http://koshiandoh.com/flash-gallery01/natsumi-step/index.html Natsumi STEP!]]'', to this day, remains Koshiandoh's most ([[SurpriseCreepy in]])famous web animation.
* Geoff Ramsey of Creator/RoosterTeeth and Creator/AchievementHunter called the ''Rage Quit'' episode two-parter of ''VideoGame/SurgeonSimulator2013 Steam Version'' this for that series, and it shows.
* Both Lewis and the majority of fans agree that the best story arc on WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall was "A Piece of the World is Missing", aka "[[EldritchAbomination The Entity]] Story Arc".

!![=YouTube=] Poops
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OVCpD-7nI4 One More Final: I Need You(tube Poop)]]" for WalrusGuy.
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PHh9v1dzdQ Gaston's Amazingly Sexy Tri-Organizer Nonsense]]" for [=BillyMorshu=], Dual-Screen, and [=JakeSteel=].
* While "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqtQD8kvm_8 TOP 27 ANIME BOOBS]]" ({{NSFW}}) remains [[TrollingCreator [=MeiAID's=]]] most beloved and well-known [[BaitAndSwitch trap video]], there's no denying that his "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrJtMASNu8g Ultimate Youtube Poop]]" stunt remains his most ambitious prank yet. Basically, he subbed to thousands of YoutubePoop fans under account name "[=UltimatePooper=]," where he posted a dubious video claiming that he will make a poop that will change poop forever. Most were gullible enough to buy it, and even those who knew what was up were still drawn to it to see just how it would unfold: [[XanatosGambit it was a black hole of a prank]]. After a string of videos taunting the audience about how much time was left, the video finally came... and created an AntiClimax so immense that the HypeBacklash in itself was the climax. It was this that solidified Mei's image as a MagnificentBastard who's able to troll entire communities.
* stong414bad regards "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74DnrAvR6eg Nick 3D Movie Maker Poop: Let's Get Some Tacos]]" as his greatest work in YouTube Poop:
-->"When I'm long gone I want Let's Get Some Tacos to be my only legacy, because it is perfect."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' has the episode "Brian: Portrait of a Dog" considered the MagnumOpus by most fans. Also the GrowingTheBeard episode.
* WesternAnimation/FelixTheCat is hands down the MagnumOpus of animation pioneer Creator/OttoMessmer.
* ''PeaceOnEarth'' is considered to be the best short ever made by Hugh Harman of the HarmanAndIsing duo. He even said it was one of the very few good cartoons he ever made.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' for GregWeisman.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' for co-creators Michael Dante [=DiMartino=] and Bryan Konietzko, and Nickelodeon.
* Fans will debate endlessly over which installment of BruceTimm, PaulDini and Alan Burnett's Franchise/{{DCAU}} contributions is their best, with the top contender usually ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries''. ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueUnlimited'' is often cited for Timm as well (as he was the only one of the three to have full involvement in it).
** Speaking of ''BTAS'', the episode [[Recap/BatmanTheAnimatedSeriesE14HeartOfIce "Heart of Ice"]] is widely considered the best half-hour of television to have come out of the series. Given that it's not only an Emmy winner but the source of a {{Retcon}} for the villain featured (Mr. Freeze), it's not hard to see why.
** JLU can be considered as one for the late [[Creator/DwayneMcDuffie Dwayne McDuffie]].
** BruceTimm himself decided that his best work is ''GreenLanternTheAnimatedSeries''
-->Timm: [[http://giancarlovolpe.tumblr.com/post/25395242068/joshkeaton-greenlantern-tas-okay-ill-try “I’m not just blowing smoke up your ass, but this is one of the best projects I’ve ever been a part of. Period.”]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'' is considered this for GenndyTartakovsky, even though the series was never finished. There's also ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'' too.
* ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'' for JhonenVasquez. An unusual example, since the rest of his work is in comics rather than animation.
** And then there's also the fact that he personally [[ArtistDisillusionment considers it to be]] [[MagnumOpusDissonance the worst of his works to date]].
* MainframeEntertainment may be the primary source of Direct-to-Video ''{{Franchise/Barbie}}'' movies today, but the big debate over its Magnum Opus boils down to either ''ReBoot'' or ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars''.
* Invariably, when asked what her greatest work is, fans and even the woman herself will state that ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' is this for Creator/LaurenFaust.
** Episode-wise, the "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E25TwilightsKingdomPart1 Twilight's]] [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E26TwilightsKingdomPart2 Kingdom]]" two-parter can be considered FiM's opus, though some of [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E1TheReturnOfHarmonyPart1 the]] [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E2TheReturnOfHarmonyPart2 previous]] [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E25ACanterlotWeddingPart1 two]]-[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E26ACanterlotWeddingPart2 parters]] are possible contenders.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'' for CraigMcCracken. Also some might consider ''WesternAnimation/FostersHomeForImaginaryFriends'' as a contender.
** ''Powerpuff Girls'', ''Dexter's Laboratory'', ''Samurai Jack'', ''WesternAnimation/EdEddnEddy'', ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'', and ''WesternAnimation/RegularShow'' for Cartoon Network.
* Fans suggest either ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' or ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' is Creator/{{Butch Hartman}}'s opus. Some would say both. The former had a much larger cultural impact, though.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' is this for TreyParkerAndMattStone, though some would also make a case for their stage debut ''Theatre/TheBookOfMormon''.
* Creator/ChuckJones has ''WesternAnimation/DuckAmuck'', ''OneFroggyEvening'', and ''WesternAnimation/WhatsOperaDoc''.
* Creator/BobClampett has ''PorkyInWackyland'', ''ACornyConcerto'', ''TheGreatPiggyBankRobbery'', and ''BookRevue''
* Most WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}} fans and staff agree that the fourth production season was the best one.
* Either the first 8 seasons of WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons or ''Futurama'' for Creator/MattGroening.
* Nickelodeon's best shows from the 90's are usually considered to be ''WesternAnimation/TheRenAndStimpyShow'', ''WesternAnimation/RockosModernLife'', and ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}''. As for shows from the 2000s, ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'', ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'', and the early seasons of ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'' and ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents''.
* While we are on the topic of ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'', the episode Band Geeks is considered to be the best Spongebob episode ever. The ending is pretty much a combination of CrowningMomentOfFunny, CrowningMomentOfAwesome, and CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming ''at the same time''.
** "Chocolate With Nuts" is also considered to be the best episode comedy-wise.
** Fans hold the original three pre-movie seasons in high regard, especially in comparison towards [[SeasonalRot the ones that follow]].
* The general consensus regarding Creator/DisneyChannel's modern cartoons is that ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' and ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'' are the best of the bunch. ''WesternAnimation/WanderOverYonder'' is also widely considered to be of high quality.
** ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'' is also considered to be Alex Hirsch's best, eclipsing his work on ''WesternAnimation/FishHooks'' and ''WesternAnimation/TheMarvelousMisadventuresOfFlapjack'' in popularity and in critical opinion handily.
* For ''Franchise/ScoobyDoo'' fans, ''[[WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooMysteryIncorporated Mystery Incorporated]]'' has been considered the best of the franchise TV series wise. When it comes to [[WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooDirectToVideoFilmSeries movies]], they're likely to bring up ''[[WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooOnZombieIsland Zombie Island]]''.
** For ''Creator/HannaBarbera'' as a whole, it's either ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'', ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDoo'', or ''WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones''.
* For ''Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'' fans, [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003 the 2003 series]] is considered the best in terms of TV series. Or course, the 1987 series has its fair share of suppoerters as well.
* For ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', seasons 2 through 10 is where many fans considered to be the show's very prime. For the show itself, it's for Matt Groening and the rest of the cast and crew.
[[/folder]]
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