The tendency of bacterial cells to adhere and colonize a material surface leading to biofilm formation is a fundamental challenge underlying many different applications including microbial infections associated with biomedical devices and products. Although, bacterial attachment to surfaces has been extensively studied in the past, the effect of surface topography on bacteria–material interactions has received little attention until more recently. We review the recent progress in surface topography based approaches for engineering antibacterial surfaces. Biomimicry of antibacterial surfaces in nature is a popular strategy. Whereas earlier endeavors in the field aimed at minimizing cell attachment, more recent efforts have focused on developing bactericidal surfaces. However, not all such topography mediated bactericidal surfaces are necessarily cytocompatible thus underscoring the need for continued efforts for research in this area for developing antibacterial and yet cytocompatible surfaces for use in implantable biomedical applications. This mini-review provides a brief overview of the current strategies and challenges in the emerging field of topography mediated antibacterial surfaces.