Superabsorbent polymers (SAP) and modified natural polymer hydrogels are widely and increasingly used in agriculture, health care textiles, effluent treatment, drug delivery, tissue engineering, civil concrete structure, etc. However, not many comprehensive reviews are available on this class of novel polymers. A review covering all the viable applications of SAP will be highly useful for researchers, industry persons, and medical, healthcare, and agricultural purposes. Hence, an attempt has been made to review SAPs with reference to their classifications, synthesis, modification by crosslinking, and physicochemical characterization such as morphology, swellability, thermal and mechanical properties, lifetime prediction, thermodynamics of swelling, absorption, release and transport kinetics, quantification of hydrophilic groups, etc. Besides, the possible methods of fine-tuning their structures for improving their absorption capacity, fast absorption kinetics, mechanical strength, controlled release features, etc. were also addressed to widen their uses. This review has also highlighted the biodegradability, commercial viability and market potential of SAPs, SAP composites, the feasibility of using biomass as raw materials for SAP production, etc. The challenges and future prospects of SAP, their safety, and environmental issues are also discussed.