Cost-effective production of low cobalt Li-ion battery (LIB) cathode materials is of great importance to the electric vehicle (EV) industry to achieve a zero-carbon economy. Among the various low cobalt cathodes, Ni-rich lithium nickel cobalt manganese oxide (NCM/NMC)-based layered materials are commonly used in EVs and are attracting more attention of the scientific community due to their high specific capacity and energy density. Various synthesis routes are already established to produce Ni-rich NCM cathodes with uniform particle size distribution and high tap density. Continuous production of highly pure Ni-rich cathode materials with uniformity in inter/intra-particle compositional distribution is critically required. On the other hand, cation mixing, particle cracking, and parasitic side reactions at higher voltage and temperature are some of the primary challenges of working with Ni-rich NCM cathodes. During the past five years, several advanced modification strategies such as coating, doping, core–shell, gradient structure and single crystal growth have been explored to improve the NCM cathode performance in terms of specific capacity, rate-capability and cycling stability. The scientific advancements in the field of Ni-rich NCM cathodes in terms of manufacturing processes, material challenges, modification techniques, and also the future research direction of LIB research are critically reviewed in this article.