In this review, we intend to highlight outstanding concepts of antiviral nucleoside prodrugs which have been developed in recent years, so as to improve the efficacy of a given antiviral drug or to overcome some drug deficiencies. Examples of antiviral carrier-linked nucleoside prodrugs or nucleoside bioprecursors are described, and their active mechanisms discussed. The described nucleoside prodrugs are classified in two structural classes: prodrugs bearing molecular modifications on the sugar moiety and prodrugs bearing molecular modifications on the nucleic base. Despite the important research work accomplished through out the world during the last few years in developing improved antiviral drugs for the treatment of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), HBV (hepatitis B virus), HCV (hepatitis C virus), HSV (herpes simplex virus), HCMV (human cytomegalovirus), etc-infections, only few nucleoside antiviral prodrugs are marketed, while promising prodrugs deriving from original concepts were developed. The most relevant concepts are discussed: (1) - pronucleotide approach allows the design of prodrugs, which by-pass the first kinase phosphorylation step; (2) - drug design based on Bodors concept for brain delivery improved drugs and (3) - 5-O-carbonate nucleosides and deaminase approaches, which allow active drug regeneration. Nonetheless, none of these innovative models have reached the market.