Ocean wave energy is one of the most abundant energy sources in the world. There is a wide variety of wave energy conversion systems that have been designed and developed, resulting from the different ways of ocean wave energy absorption and also depending on the location characteristics. This paper reviews and analyses the concepts of hydraulic power take-off (PTO) system used in various types of wave energy conversion systems so that it can be a useful reference to researchers, engineers and inventors. This paper also reviews the control mechanisms of the hydraulic PTO system in order to optimise the energy harvested from the ocean waves. Finally, the benefits and challenges of the hydraulic PTO system are discussed in this paper.