Abstract: High-energy consumption in our day-to-day life can be balanced not only by harvesting pollution-free renewable energy sources, but also requires proper storage and distribution of energy. In this regard, lithium ion batteries are currently considered as effective energy storage devices and involve the most active research. There exist several review articles dealing with various sections of LIBs, such as the anode, the cathode, electrolytes, electrode–electrolyte interface etc. However, the anode is considered to be a crucial component affecting the performance of LIBs as evident from the tremendous amount of current research work carried out in this area. In the last few years, advancements have been focused more on the fabrication of the nanostructured anode owing to its special properties, such as high surface area, short Li+ ion diffusion path length, high electron transportation rate etc. As the work in this area is growing very fast, the present review paper deliberates the recent developments of anode materials on the nanoscale. Different types of anode materials, such as carbon-based materials, alloys, Si-based materials, transition metal oxides, and transition metal chalcogenides, with their unique physical and electrochemical properties, are discussed. Various approaches to designing materials in the form of 0, 1 and 2D nanostructures and their effect of size and morphology on their performance as anode materials in LIBs are reviewed. Moreover, the article emphasizes smart approaches for making core–shell particles, nanoheterostructures, nanocomposites or nanohybrids with the combination of electrochemically active materials and conductive carbonaceous or electrochemically inactive materials to achieve LIBs with high capacity, high rate capability, and excellent cycling stability. We believe the review paper will provide an update for the reader regarding recent progress on nanostructured anode materials for LIBs.