The influence of severe plastic deformation (SPD) on the fatigue behavior of a modified 316L austenitic stainless steel is investigated. Different ultrafine-grained and nanocrystalline microstructures are obtained by changing the processing parameters and applying a post heat treatment procedure. Samples are fatigued using both, load and strain controlled experiments. High pressure torsion processing makes it possible to reach a saturation microstructure, which is cyclically stable up to a stress level three times higher than the stress level of the coarse-grained structure. Fracture surface investigations and surface damage clearly show that the failure behavior of the SPD states under cyclic loading is different to their coarse-grained counterparts. For these microstructures, localized deformation in shear bands seems to play a major role for crack initiation and propagation.