The energy crisis followed by severe environmental concerns has led mankind to develop renewable energy sources. Recently, the development of hydrokinetic technology is gaining research interest to tap the kinetic energy available in water flowing streams. Among all hydrokinetic turbine configurations, the lift-based vertical axis hydrokinetic turbine (VAHT) is found to be efficient at a high tip speed ratio, rotation independent of flow direction, and entails an unsubmerged generator unit. In this study, an attempt is made to review in detail the performance comparison of straight-bladed with helical-bladed lift-based VAHTs and the influence of design and operating conditional parameters. Furthermore, the potential research areas that need to be addressed in future studies are also found and presented. The review would be helpful for academic researchers in understanding the impact strength of performance parameters and efficiency enhancement techniques and inspire industries to commercialize the product in the existing market conditions.