Augmented reality (AR) superimposes computer-generated virtual objects onto the user’s view of the real world. Among medical disciplines, neurosurgery has long been at the forefront of image-guided surgery, and it continues to push the frontiers of AR technology in the operating room. In this systematic review, we explore the history of AR in neurosurgery and examine the literature on current neurosurgical applications of AR. Significant challenges to surgical AR exist, including compounded sources of registration error, impaired depth perception, visual and tactile temporal asynchrony, and operator inattentional blindness. Nevertheless, the ability to accurately display multiple three-dimensional datasets congruently over the area where they are most useful, coupled with future advances in imaging, registration, display technology, and robotic actuation, portend a promising role for AR in the neurosurgical operating room.