0MnVTiNb, 12Cr1MoV, 20Cr2Ni4, 35CrMo, 40Cr, 42CrMo, 60Si2CrV and T8 steels and Fe-1.2C alloy were used to study the morphology and formation mechanism of martensite by metallographic microscope, QUANTA-400 environmental scanning electron microscope and JEM-2100 transmission electron microscope after they were austenized at different temperature and then quenched respectively. The results show that the martensite of low-carbon steel is lath martensite, the martensite of high-carbon steel is plate martensite, and the martensite of medium-carbon steel is the integrated microstructure of lath martensite and plate martensite. With the increase of carbon content, the morphology of martensite in steel evolves from lath shape to plate shape, the distribution of martensite slices changes from in parallel to with crossing angle, and the substructure evolves from high density dislocations and stacking faults to twin crystals. The martensite in steel can nucleate in the austenite crystal grain interior as well as along the austenite crystal grain boundary. It is proposed that the volumetric strain energy in martensite transformation is the essential reason of the different morphologies of martensite.