Malaria causes 300-500 million clinical cases and 1-3 million deaths per year, the majority of which occur in African children less than five years of age. The failure of vector control methods to achieve adequate reductions in morbidity and mortality and the widespread resistance to conventional antimalarial drugs have made development of an effective malaria vaccine a global priority. An ideal malaria vaccine should recapitulate naturally acquired immunity in an endemic setting. However, progress toward an efficacious vaccine has been slow, due to the high polymorphism of prospective target antigens and the inability of most vaccines to elicit long-lived immunological memory in the host. This review discusses the efficacy of current pre-erythrocytic-stage, asexual blood-stage, and transmission-blocking vaccine candidates, as well as future prospects for malaria vaccine development.