Digital rectal examination, serum prostate-specific antigen screening and transrectal ultrasound-guided biopsy are conventionally used as screening, diagnostic and surveillance tools for prostate cancer. However, they have limited sensitivity and specificity. In recent years, the role of multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging has steadily grown, and is now part of the standard clinical management in many institutions. In multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging, the morphological assessment of T2-weighted imaging is correlated with diffusion-weighted imaging, dynamic contrast-enhanced imaging perfusion and/or magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging. Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging is currently regarded as the most sensitive and specific imaging technique for the evaluation of prostate cancer, including detection, staging, localization and aggressiveness evaluation. This article presents an overview of multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging, and discusses the current role of multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging in the different fields of prostate cancer management.