To systematically review the measurement properties of performance-based measures to assess physical function in people with hip and/or knee osteoarthritis (OA).Electronic searches were performed in MEDLINE, CINAHL, Embase, and PsycINFO up to the end of June 2012. Two reviewers independently rated measurement properties using the consensus-based standards for the selection of health status measurement instrument (COSMIN). "Best evidence synthesis" was made using COSMIN outcomes and the quality of findings.Twenty-four out of 1792 publications were eligible for inclusion. Twenty-one performance-based measures were evaluated including 15 single-activity measures and six multi-activity measures. Measurement properties evaluated included internal consistency (three measures), reliability (16 measures), measurement error (14 measures), validity (nine measures), responsiveness (12 measures) and interpretability (three measures). A positive rating was given to only 16% of possible measurement ratings. Evidence for the majority of measurement properties of tests reported in the review has yet to be determined. On balance of the limited evidence, the 40 m self-paced test was the best rated walk test, the 30 s-chair stand test and timed up and go test were the best rated sit to stand tests, and the Stratford battery, Physical Activity Restrictions and Functional Assessment System were the best rated multi-activity measures.Further good quality research investigating measurement properties of performance measures, including responsiveness and interpretability in people with hip and/or knee OA, is needed. Consensus on which combination of measures will best assess physical function in people with hip/and or knee OA is urgently required.