Nickel (Ni) is a potentially toxic element that contaminates soil and water, threatens food and water security, and hinders sustainable development globally. Biochar has emerged as a promising novel material for remediating Ni-contaminated environments. However, the potential for pristine and functionalized biochars to immobilize/ adsorb Ni in soil and water, and the mechanisms involved have not been systematically reviewed. Here, we critically review the different dimensions of Ni contamination and remediation in soil and water, including its occurrence and biogeochemical behavior under different environmental conditions and ecotoxicological hazards, and its remediation using biochar. Biochar is effective in immobilizing Ni in soil and water via ion exchange, electrostatic attraction, surface complexation, (co)precipitation, physical adsorption, and reduction due to the biogeochemistry of Ni and the interaction of Ni with surface functional groups and organic/inorganic compounds contained in biochar. The efficiency for Ni removal is consistently greater with functionalized than pristine biochars. Physical (e.g., ball milling) and chemical (e.g., alkali/acidic treatment) activation achieve higher surface area, porosity, and active surface groups on biochar that enhance Ni immobilization. This review highlights possible risks and challenges of biochar application in Ni remediation, suggests future research directions, and discusses implications for environmental agencies and decision-makers.