Eminem has sold 49.1 million records domestically. Internationally, that number is up around 100 million.

This level of success has, understandably, had a distorting effect on how the Dre protege's music is perceived. When an artist's work becomes as popular and ubiquitous as Eminem's has, there are going to be many, many interpretations of that work. And just because you think you've got a handle on Em's story doesn't mean there isn't a very popular alternate perception. After all, this is Marshall Mathers, the guy who invented the term "Stan." Suffice it to say, you find out quickly talking to Em fans—and who in hip-hop does this not describe, really?—that your take really is one of many.

Revisiting Em's rap repertoire for this project has been an eye-opening experience. Spanning 17 years and 15 releases, his songs and albums have more unexplored nooks and crannies than most casual fans realize. His career has also taken a more complicated shape than its initial arc implied.

Eminem is one of the few rappers still releasing new music who can motivate large numbers of the public to buy his records. His artistic millieu, in many ways, is that of the album, even if he arose in the internet era that has done so much to lessen the importance of the form. So without further ado, here's our ranking Eminem album catalog: these are the 10 best Eminem albums. 

Related: Complex Cover Story - Dec 2017 : Eminem On How Jay Z Inspires Him and the Making of 'Revival'