Shape memory alloys (SMAs) thin films have attracted much attention in recent years as intelligent and functional materials because of their unique characteristics. The sputtering thin films have been attracted great interest as powerful actuators in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) such as microvalves, microfluid pumps, and microgrippers. Amongst SMAs, the equiatomic TiNi compound is the most widely used. In this paper, TiNi films prepared by magnetron sputtering are reviewed. The influence of parameters including thickness, target, substrate temperature and work pressure on the microstructure and properties of TiNi films are analysised. In additionally, several TiNi based ternary alloys films such as TiNiCu films, TiNiPd films and TiNiPt films are introduced. At last, the research direction of SMAs thin films is presented.