Songs of Faith and Devotion
I once read a review of Playing the Angel that said "Playing the Angel is Depeche Mode's best album since Songs of Faith and Devotion, but Exciter was also Depeche Mode's best album since Songs of Faith and Devotion." And I agree... those two more recent albums are awesome, but people seem to forget about the greatness that is Songs of Faith and Devotion.
This album is nowhere near as sexy as Exciter, but its other merits elevate it to the top of the DM catalogue. The atmosphere created by I Feel You carries the whole way through Higher Love. Probably the true sign that this is DM's best album, is that none of the songs really stand out (a la Wake of Magellan, or Scenes From a Memory). Each song compliments one another perfectly.