Recombinant adenovirus (rAd) and recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) are among the most extensively used vectors in gene therapy studies to date. These two vectors share some similar features such as a broad host range and ability to infect both proliferating and quiescent cells. However, they also possess their own unique set of properties that render them particularly attractive for gene therapy applications. rAd vectors can accommodate larger inserts, mediate transient but high levels of protein expression, and can be easily produced at high titers. Development of gutted rAd vectors has further increased the cloning capacity of these vectors. The gaining popularity of rAAV use in gene therapy can be attributed to its lack of pathogenicity and added safety due to its replication defectiveness, and its ability to mediate long-term expression in a variety of tissues. Site-specific integration, as occurs with wild-type AAV, will be a unique and valuable feature if incorporated into rAAV vectors, further improving their safety. This paper describes these properties of rAd and rAAV vectors, and discusses further development and vector improvements that continue to extend the utility of these vectors, such as cell retargeting by capsid modification, differential transduction by use of serotypes, and extension of the cloning capacity of rAAV vectors by dual vector heterodimerization.