From M.C. Hammer to Macaulay Culkin, take a look back to where it all started.

By EW Staff
October 05, 2015 at 12:00 PM EDT
Credit: Frans Schellekens/Redferns

When you think about the greatest movies, TV shows, albums, and books of the last 25 years, what makes your list? Nothing inspires more passionate debate at Entertainment Weekly than identifying the very best pop culture has to offer, as we do each week in the magazine’s The Must List. Now, for EW’s 25th anniversary, we offer the absolute Musts of the past quarter-century.

From Good Will Hunting to Breaking Bad, X-Men to The X-Files, and from Prince to Queen Latifah to Stephen King, you’ll find your favorites here, along with some forgotten gems and new discoveries. And while we expect you may disagree with some of our heartfelt and hard-argued choices, that’s the fun of making lists. We’ll continue searching out the best in the decades to come in the magazine and on But now, get ready for some cultural time travel, starting with…

EW has detailed the best in movies, TV, music, and books for 25 years with the Must List, and in celebration, The Must List: Ranking the Best in 25 Years of Pop Culture, arrives in stores on Tuesday. The 1990-celebrating list above is an excerpt from the book. The Must List: Ranking the Best in 25 Years of Pop Culture is in stores now, or available for order online.