Drug delivery systems are effective and attractive methods which allow therapeutic substances to be introduced into the body more effectively and safe by having tunable delivery rate and release target site. Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have a myriad of favorable physical, chemical, optical, thermal and biological properties that make them highly suitable candidates as non-toxic carriers for drug and gene delivery. The surface modifications of AuNPs profoundly improve their circulation, minimize aggregation rates, enhance attachment to therapeutic molecules and target agents due to their nano range size which further increases their ability to cross cell membranes and reduce overall cytotoxicity. This comprehensive article reviews the applications of the AuNPs in drug delivery systems along with their corresponding surface modifications. The highlighting results obtained from the preclinical trial are promising and next five years have huge possibility move to the clinical setting.