The high level of manipulability of viral genome has set up HSV-1 to be an ideal viral vector for oncolytic virotherapy. In the past two decades, several oncolytic HSV-1 viruses have been successfully developed and assessed in animal studies. Accumulated evidences show that oncolytic HSV- 1 can efficiently infect many tumor cells and augment anti-tumor effect by induction of systemic innate and adaptive immune responses. Inspiring results have been accomplished in several phase I clinical trials for glioma, head and neck squeous cells carcinoma and Melanoma using oncolytic HSV- 1 viruses. More recently, oncovey, one of oncolytic HSV-1 viruses has been approved by FDA for the comprehensive evolution of its anti-tumor effects in phase III clinical trials. These promising studies encourage more efforts to be devoted to craft the new generation of oncolytic HSV-1. Herein, we will review and summarize the basic strategies to construct oncolytic HSV-1 viruses and their applications in cancer therapy.