Purpose Liver transplantation is a curative treatment option for hepatocellular carcinoma. In this review, we aimed to review liver transplantation criteria for hepatocellular carcinoma and patient survivals. Methods We reviewed literature in terms of liver transplant criteria for hepatocellular carcinoma. Patient eligibility criteria, post-transplant survivals, tumor recurrence and expansion of Milan criteria rates were analyzed. Results The Milan criteria, after being published in 1996, have become for deceased donor liver transplantation in hepatocellular carcinoma worldwide. Later, many transplant centers published their own liver transplant criteria. Most of the criteria consisted of morphological tumor characteristics based on tumor size and number. The newest published one is Malatya criteria. The 5-year overall survival according the all of the criteria is greater than 50%. There were just one paper which compare criteria according to survival and Malatya criteria were the best amongst extended criteria with 5-year OS 79.7% in that study. Conclusion It is clear that morphological criteria consisting only of tumor size and number are insufficient in patient selection for liver transplantation and should thus be combined with biological, inflammatory, radiological, pathological and genetic markers that predict the biological behavior of the tumor. Efforts to find the best criteria are still ongoing and 5-year overall survival should be greater than 60%.