We review the status of neutron backscattering spectrometers on reactors and spallation sources including the most recent instrument developments. After setting the stage by looking briefly at the history of backscattering instruments, we review the current state-of-the-art in backscattering spectrometers leading to the most recent projects. In particular, we discuss the developments at reactors which have led to the classic type of backscattering spectrometers. These instruments typically use cold neutrons along with crystalline monochromators and large crystalline analyzers both of which diffract neutrons very nearly in exact backscattering thereby providing energy resolutions < 1 ¿eV. More recently, powerful spallation pulsed neutron sources have been built allowing inverted-geometry instruments in which a pulsed, broad-energy band of neutrons strikes the sample. The final neutron energy is then specified by a large crystalline analyzer arranged so that the neutrons are diffracted near backscattering providing a somewhat relaxed energy resolution from that of the typical reactor-based instruments. Both types of backscattering spectrometers are essential members of the basic instrument suite for high energy resolution spectroscopy.