The increased utilization of high-risk renal grafts for transplantation requires optimization of pretransplant organ assessment strategies. Current decision-making methods to accept an organ for transplantation lack overall predictive power and always contain an element of subjectivity. Normothermic machine perfusion (NMP) creates near-physiological conditions, which might facilitate a more objective assessment of organ quality prior to transplantation. NMP is rapidly gaining popularity, with various transplant centers developing their own NMP protocols and renal viability criteria. However, to date, no validated sets of on-pump viability markers exist nor are there unified NMP protocols. This review provides a critical overview of the fundamentals of current renal NMP protocols and proposes a framework to approach further development of ex vivo organ evaluation. We also comment on the potential logistical implications of routine clinical use of NMP, which is a more complex procedure compared to static cold storage or even hypothermic machine perfusion. Supplemental Visual Abstract; http://links.lww.com/TP/C232.