Growing market demand for portable energy storage has triggered significant research on high-capacity lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery anodes. Various elements have been utilized in innovative structures to enable these anodes, which can potentially increase the energy density and decrease the cost of Li-ion batteries. In this review, electrode and material parameters are considered in anode fabrication. The periodic table is then used to explore how the choice of anode material affects rate performance, cycle stability, Li-ion insertion/extraction potentials, voltage hysteresis, volumetric and specific capacities, and other critical parameters. Silicon (Si), germanium (Ge), and tin (Sn) anodes receive more attention in literature and in this review, but other elements, such as antimony (Sb), lead (Pb), magnesium (Mg), aluminum (Al), gallium (Ga), phosphorus (P), arsenic (As), bismuth (Bi), and zinc (Zn) are also discussed. Among conversion anodes focus is placed on oxides, nitrides, phosphides, and hydrides. Nanostructured carbon (C) receives separate consideration. Issues in high- capacity research, such as volume change, insufficient coulombic efficiency, and solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) layer stability are elucidated. Finally, advanced carbon composites utilizing carbon nanotubes (CNT), graphene, and size preserving external shells are discussed, including high mass loading (thick) electrodes and electrodes capable of providing load-bearing properties.