This meta-analysis aims to update the evidence for the effects of intensive glucose control (IGC) on the outcomes among critically ill patients. We performed a systematic literature review from inception through December, 2017 by two independent authors by searching PubMed, EMBASE and Cochrane Library. Randomized clinical trials of the effects of IGC compared with conventional glucose control were selected. Random-effect models were applied to calculate summary relative risks (RRs) for the related outcomes. Of 4247 records identified, we abstracted data from 27 relevant trials for meta-analysis. Compared with patients receiving conventional glucose control (controls), patients with IGC did not have significantly decreased risk of short-term mortality (in-hospital mortality or intensive care unit (ICU) mortality) (RR 0.99, 95% CI 0.92–1.06) or 3- to 6-month mortality (RR 1.02, 95% CI 0.97–1.08). These results remained constant among different study settings including surgical ICUs, medical ICUs or mixed ICUs. Similarly, we also found that patients with IGC did not have significantly lower risk of sepsis (RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.89–1.11) or new need for dialysis (RR 0.97, 95% CI 0.84–1.11). However, patients with IGC had almost 4-fold increase in risk of hypoglycemia (RR 4.86, 95% CI 3.16–7.46). In conclusion, in this updated meta-analysis of published trials, critically ill patients receiving IGC were found to be at neutral risk for short-term or 3- 6-month mortality, risk of sepsis or new need for dialysis, but at higher risk of hypoglycemia.