Ranking Possible Post-Apocalyptic Scenarios From Best to Worst

As we all know, the world is supposed to end this year, dropping us all into a huge pit of who-knows-what. In an effort to be prepared, we’ve been thinking about what kind of post-apocalyptic world would best suit us — and since the end-date is a fantasy, we think it only fitting that the only resultant post-apocalyptic scenarios we consider be just as fictional. In our pop-culture focused minds, it just seems like it ought to work out that way. Accordingly, we’ve sifted through the many post-apocalyptic worlds in literature and film to find the best and the worst possible outcomes, at least in our eyes. But to each his own — would you rather live in Zombieland than in the Matrix? Or is your worst nightmare or best case scenario not represented here? Let us know in the comments.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

This classic manga (and Studio Ghibli film) is set 1000 years after the “Seven Days of Fire”, a disaster that destroyed industrial civilization, turned the sea to poison, and turned the earth into a vast, polluted forest called the “Sea of Corruption” that pushes the surviving humans to ever-smaller open land. However, princess Nausicaä discovers that the forest is actually a purifying force, meant to restore the planet. We think the sense of quiet wonder that pervades this series is something we would be happy to wait in until the world rekindles itself — especially if we had our own fox-squirrel to ride on our shoulders.