In this review, microwave plasma gas-phase synthesis of inorganic materials and material groups is discussed from the application-oriented perspective of a materials scientist: why and how microwave plasmas are applied for the synthesis of materials? First, key players in this research field will be identified, and a brief overview on publication history on this topic is given. The fundamental basics, necessary to understand the processes ongoing in particle synthesis—one of the main applications of microwave plasma processes—and the influence of the relevant experimental parameters on the resulting particles and their properties will be addressed. The benefit of using microwave plasma instead of conventional gas phase processes with respect to chemical reactivity and crystallite nucleation will be reviewed. The criteria, how to choose an appropriate precursor to synthesize a specific material with an intended application is discussed. A tabular overview on all type of materials synthesized in microwave plasmas and other plasma methods will be given, including relevant citations. Finally, property examples of three groups of nanomaterials synthesized with microwave plasma methods, bare Fe2O3 nanoparticles, different core/shell ceramic/organic shell nanoparticles, and Sn-based nanocomposites, will be described exemplarily, comprising perspectives of applications.