Pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma (PXA) is a rare astrocytic neoplasm that commonly affects children and young adults, and presents with seizures. PXA is typically supratentorial with a predilection to the temporal lobe, and often involves the cortex and the meninges. PXAs have a favorable prognosis with a 10-year survival probability of >70%, and are WHO grade II neoplasms. Recent observations and studies demonstrate that PXAs are clinically, histologically and genetically distinct. Some PXAs recur and exhibit aggressive clinical behavior. In such cases, certain histological and clinical factors could account for the aggressive behavior. However, the histological features that predict adverse outcome are poorly defined. In the current WHO classification of CNS tumors, there is no option for a high-grade PXA, even if the tumor had numerous recurrences and poor outcome. In this review, we focus on aggressive clinical behavior and anaplasia in PXA, and discuss how our current experience suggests modifications in the current WHO classification. We also review recent discoveries on the molecular characteristics of PXA that could help us better understand their biological behavior.