Developing clean and sustainable energies as alternatives to fossil fuels is in strong demand within modern society. The oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is the efficiency-limiting process in plenty of key renewable energy systems, such as electrochemical water splitting and rechargeable metal–air batteries. In this regard, ongoing efforts have been devoted to seeking high-performance electrocatalysts for enhanced energy conversion efficiency. Apart from traditional precious-metal-based catalysts, nickel-based compounds are the most promising earth-abundant OER catalysts, attracting ever-increasing interest due to high activity and stability. In this review, the recent progress on nickel-based oxide and (oxy)hydroxide composites for water oxidation catalysis in terms of materials design/synthesis and electrochemical performance is summarized. Some underlying mechanisms to profoundly understand the catalytic active sites are also highlighted. In addition, the future research trends and perspectives on the development of Ni-based OER electrocatalysts are discussed.