Recently, the output of Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) prediction on tidal stream turbine systems has been receiving great attention owing to the vast and untapped tidal stream potential. For several years, many publications have documented the accuracy of CFD methods for steady flows, but not for unsteady flows. A challenging area persisting in the computational field is its dependence on large computing resources, and the unsteady nature of usual tidal streams. To overcome this problem, researchers have proposed modelling simpler, representative devices or combined CFD with alternative predictive methods. Nevertheless, the turbulent modelling has been a critical issue in the CFD methods and great effort has been devoted to the study of turbulence and wave effect on the wake and functioning of the turbine. The present paper is a review of CFD application on tidal stream turbine performance in both steady and unsteady flows. The performance of the turbine predicted by actuator and blade resolved methods, has been in accordance with laboratory observations. Findings of the wake have been both consistent and inconsistent with measurements, arising from interpretation of the blade force, fluid-solving method and onset flow model, and downstream range distance. With regards to arrays, preliminary work shows turbine arrangement can have profound effects in the onset flow, and in consequence, the performance of adjacent turbine rows. The results reported appear to support the wind similarity assumption, such as wake Gaussian velocity distributions and fluctuating turbine output in unsteady flows. Under the influence of surface waves, the wake recovers faster than steady flow condition due to the flow's convective acceleration, but the mean performance stays almost equal. The findings in this paper give a critical review and insight of important implications for future turbine research, such as experimental validation of the turbine prediction output in small and large arrays.