Viruses play an important role in the control of microbial communities, and it has been suggested that the influence of viruses in polar ecosystems, with low nutrients and under extreme environmental conditions, may be greater. Viral metagenomics allows the genetic characterization of complex viral communities without the need to isolate and grow viruses. Recent investigations in Antarctica and the Arctic are uncovering a great diversity of DNA viruses, including bacteriophages, circular single-stranded DNA viruses, algal-infecting phycodnaviruses, and virophages, adapted to these extreme environments. The limited sequence similarity between viruses in Antarctica and the Arctic suggests that viral communities in the two polar regions have evolved independently since the formation of the Antarctic continent, estimated to occur 25 million years ago. The community of RNA viruses in Antarctica is dominated by the order Picornavirales and their quasispecies composition suggests that higher genetic variability may correlate with viral adaptation to new environmental conditions.