A critical review: the ring-opening polymerization of cyclic esters provides access to an array of biodegradable, bioassimilable and renewable polymeric materials. Building these aliphatic polyester polymers into larger macromolecular frameworks provides further control over polymer characteristics and opens up unique applications. Polymer stars, where multiple arms radiate from a single core molecule, have found particular utility in the areas of drug delivery and nanotechnology. A challenge in this field is in understanding the impact of altering synthetic variables on polymer properties. We review the synthesis and characterization of aliphatic polyester polymer stars, focusing on polymers originating from lactide, e-caprolactone, glycolide, beta-butyrolactone and trimethylene carbonate monomers and their copolymers including coverage of polyester miktoarm star copolymers. These macromolecular materials are further categorized by core molecules, catalysts employed, self-assembly and degradation properties and the resulting fields of application (262 references).