To investigate the antihypertensive effects and tolerability of aliskiren in comparison with other antihypertensive drugs and placebo in patients with hypertension, a meta-analysis was performed of studies published between 1950 and 2012. A systematic literature search of MEDLINE and the Cochrane Library was conducted for randomized controlled trials. Weighted mean differences and relative risk with 95% confidence intervals were calculated for continuous and dichotomous data, respectively. In all, 14 studies with 6741 participants were included in the present meta-analysis. Nine studies included trial arms with placebo, four included angiotensin (Ang) AT1 receptor blockers (ARBs), three included Ang-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs), two included calcium channel blockers (CCBs), one included a β-blocker, and one included hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ). We found that aliskiren, which lowered blood pressure (BP) effectively in patients with mild-to-moderate hypertension, was similar to HCTZ but inferior to CCBs in BP reduction, response rates and control rates. Furthermore, aliskiren was superior to ACEIs in lowering diastolic BP (DBP), while it had similar effects to ACEIs on systolic BP (SBP) reduction, response rates and control rates. Additionally, the present meta-analysis showed the superiority of atenolol over aliskiren in DBP reduction and BP response but showed that atenolol was inferior in SBP reduction and BP control. No difference was found in the rates of therapeutic response between aliskiren and ARBs, while more patients achieved BP control with aliskiren. Further studies will be needed to determine the antihypertensive effects and tolerability of aliskiren in comparison with other antihypertensive drugs.