MXenes, a new family of two-dimensional (2D) transition-metal carbides, nitrides, and carbonitrides, have received considerable attention in energy and environmental applications due to their intriguing electronic, electrochemical, optical, and chemical properties. Applications of MXenes have been witnessed in photocatalysis, electrocatalysis, thermocatalysis, sensing and biosensing, electrochemical energy storage, energy conversion and storage, rechargeable batteries, supercapacitors, and biomedicine. Notably, the tunable surface chemistry of MXenes plays an important role in their success in those applications. The surface composition of MXenes is considered to have a significant influence on their physicochemical properties and functionalities. In order to achieve a comprehensive understanding and rational design of MXenes by surface engineering, in this review, we highlight the application of several kinds of surface engineering approaches for MXenes, including tuning the surface termination groups, surface functionalization, surface defects, surface doping, surface oxidation, and the theoretical simulation of surface engineering of MXenes. Moreover, the relationship between the surface engineering and the physicochemical properties of MXenes is discussed. Finally, the ongoing challenges and opportunities for the future development of MXene surface engineering are also highlighted.