MAX phases have been extensively investigated during the last 25 years due to their unique combination of properties, bridging the gap between ceramics and metals. However, despite the potential to operate under aggressive environments of compositions such as Ti2AlC and Cr2AlC, their transfer to applications is limited by three main factors: i) complexity of this large family of materials, ii) unavailability of highly pure commercial powders, and iii) extensive time to license products in strategic fields. In this work, reasons and potential solutions of these three points are discussed and correlated to the main properties of MAX phases and their synthesis routes. Emphasis is given to processing routes for developing different structures such as dense bulk samples, ceramic matrix composites, foams with controlled porosity, coatings, and near-net shaping. Well-known and novel potential applications are described as well as future challenges to facilitate the transfer to the market.