The Ripple is one of the most creative ideas I have seen done in fiction. While its introduction is lackluster, much like its ghostly counterpart that followed it, it truly felt versatile while still feeling balanced. It didn't make anyone too strong or too weak and it allowed for some of the best tactics that I have seen in shonen manga for a long time. Stands, on the other hand, often feel convoluted or generally nonsensical in their abilities and make some user unkillable gods and others completely useless. While all stands have their purpose, many feel unnecessary and useless, and it is not possible to say the same with hamon abilities. The hamon also force the user to be creative and tactical in battle which many stands don't allow as they are either too broken, too weak, can only be used if the user died, etc. This is why I think the hamon is the best ability in jojo. Your thoughts on this subject?
While I get what you mean, I feel that stands clearly was a better idea. It not only boosted the popularity of Jojo, but it also brought more to the table than hamon probably could've. Araki shines when writing about stands, and not when writing hamon. Some stands are bad, but in my opinion, stands get better as you read. The first few stands are basic; Star Platinum, Magician's Red, Silver Chariot. When you get to part 6, you get stands like Dragon's Dream and Underworld, some of the downright most interesting stands in Jojo. There are a plethora of stands like Chocolate Disco and Tattoo You, which while seeming basic and very weak, show themselves as true fighting stands.
And if you think hamon is creative, then you should take the time to appreciate the Spin. The golden rotation, Ball Breaker, Tusk, etc. The Spin was so creative, and let's be honest, it was completely unexpected. Hamon is just Araki trying to be like Fist of the North Star to an extent. Spin is completely fresh, and goes to show that Araki is a creative guy.
Say what you will about the Spin, it felt way too convoluted, came out of nowhere, continued to have abilities come out of nowhere and generally just doesn't make sense on many occasions. Stands are creative, however, I feel as though encounters involving stands are much less interesting than the hamon. Hamon is consistent, while stands are all over the place and often either don't make sense or are way too convoluted that they are extremely hard to follow. There are also numerous stands that gain abilities conveniently when the plot demands it or are under explained. There are also points where stand abilities are completely forgotten. I think the problem is that when you have so many unique abilities, it eventually gets to the point where it becomes hard to remember or utilize the stands in a logical manner. It's similar to what happened to Bleach in its final arc, where the abilities are much more interesting, but the fights are so strange and last forever that they don't feel decent anymore. The Ripple was simple and the battles involving it were succinct so much that all the battles involving it felt logical. This is just one opinion, but I can justify it with this.
I liked hamon, i think it served it's purpose very well in the parts they were in. But i don't know if I would say they are better than stands. I think you would really enjoy HunterxHunter's nen abilities.