Purpose: The purpose of this systematic literature review is to detect the most effective treatment option for primary talar osteochondral defects in adults. Methods: A literature search was performed to identify studies published from January 1996 to February 2017 using PubMed (MEDLINE), EMBASE, CDSR, DARE, and CENTRAL. Two authors separately and independently screened the search results and conducted the quality assessment using the Newcastle–Ottawa Scale. Subsequently, success rates per separate study were calculated. Studies methodologically eligible for a simplified pooling method were combined. Results: Fifty-two studies with 1236 primary talar osteochondral defects were included of which forty-one studies were retrospective and eleven prospective. Two randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were identified. Heterogeneity concerning methodological nature was observed, and there was variety in reported success rates. A simplified pooling method performed for eleven retrospective case series including 317 ankles in the bone marrow stimulation group yielded a success rate of 82% [CI 78–86%]. For seven retrospective case series investigating an osteochondral autograft transfer system or an osteoperiosteal cylinder graft insertion with in total 78 included ankles the pooled success rate was calculated to be 77% [CI 66–85%]. Conclusions: For primary talar osteochondral defects, none of the treatment options showed any superiority over others. Level of evidence: IV.