Summary Retroperitoneal sarcomas are a rare disease. The overall 5-year survival rate for these lesions remains low, and surgical management offers the only option for effective treatment and potential for cure. Radiotherapy is increasingly being employed in addition to standard surgical treatment. Improvements in cross-sectional imaging have also facilitated better characterisation of lesions, preoperative planning and long-term follow-up. This article reviews the current literature and documents the various types of retroperitoneal sarcomas with a particular approach to their imaging features. We also highlight the pathology, diagnostic methods and most current management of these tumours.