Glass-ceramic materials offer versatile properties suitable for some unique applications. Due to controlled devitrification and evolution of variable proportions of crystalline and glassy phases, glass-ceramics substantially overcome the lacunae encountered in glasses. Nowadays, these are acknowledged with the special status of functional biomaterials having superior performance with tailorable manufacturing and designing conveniences. After the pioneering invention of 45S5 Bioglass by Professor Larry Hench in late 1960s, several bioactive glass compositions had been investigated and proposed to meet the stringent requirements of repairing and regeneration of damaged bones. The in vitro and in vivo surface reaction sequences for intimate bonding of implants to bones had also been archived. It was further stimulated by the introduction of bioactive glass-ceramics, following the most significant development of apatite-wollastonite (A/W) system by Professor Tadashi Kokubo and his colleagues. In this review, the author dealt with the synthesis, reactivity, performance and applications of these classic materials with a brief historical background. © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.