Both the non-catalytic and catalytic hydrothermal liquefaction of biomass have been the objective of extensive research in recent years. An impressive amount of scientific studies related to non-catalytic and catalytic hydrothermal liquefaction of biomass has been reported in the literature. The experimental conditions such as temperature, residence time, pressure, the types of biomass, and the types of catalysts have an important effect on the product distributions. The details about the experimental conditions as well as the compositions of bio-oils are important for a better understanding of the biomass liquefaction pathways in hydrothermal media. This review is intended to summarize and discuss a survey of relevant research.