Cisplatin is currently one of the most widely used anticancer drugs in the world. The unlikely events surrounding the discovery of its anticancer activity, subsequent introduction into the clinic, and the continuing research into platinum compounds is the subject of this review. Cisplatin and related platinum compounds remain the focus of extensive research. Reliable methods for the synthesis of such compounds have been developed and it has been established that they exert their anticancer activity through interaction with DNA. The search continues for a platinum drug to improve upon the clinical performance of cisplatin. Several have entered clinical trials but have been abandoned for a variety of reasons. However, preliminary results on novel compounds have been particularly promising.