Recently, the integration of distributed generation and energy systems has been associated with new approaches to plant operations. As a result, it is becoming increasingly important to improve management skills related to distributed generation and demand aggregation through different types of virtual power plants (VPPs). It is also important to leverage their ability to participate in electricity markets to maximize operating profits. The present study focuses on VPP concepts, its different potential services, various control methodologies, distinct optimization approaches, and some practical implemented real cases. To this end, a comprehensive review of the most recent scientific literature is conducted. The paper concludes with remained challenges and future trends in the topic.