Implant surfaces play important roles in regulating protein adsorption and determining subsequent cell responses, including cell attachment, proliferation, migration and differentiation. With rapid developments in micro- and nano-fabrication methods and additive manufacturing (3D printing) technologies, precisely controlled patterns such as partially ordered or ordered patterns can now be generated on bone implant surfaces, rather than restricted to randomly roughened surfaces. Over the last two decades, much effort has been dedicated to manipulating cell responses through surface topographical modifications. This review discusses the recent developments and understanding of surface topography in prompting or enhancing desired cell responses, particularly the roles of ordered and partially ordered surface topography under in vitro conditions. In addition, the challenges to translate research findings into implant applications are addressed.