The future smart grid is envisioned as a large-scale cyber-physical system encompassing advanced power, communications, control, and computing technologies. In order to accommodate these technologies, it will have to build on solid mathematical tools that can ensure an efficient and robust operation of such heterogeneous and large-scale cyber-physical systems. In this context, this paper is an overview on the potential of applying game theory for addressing relevant and timely open problems in three emerging areas that pertain to the smart grid: micro-grid systems, demand-side management, and communications. In each area, the state-of-the-art contributions are gathered and a systematic treatment, using game theory, of some of the most relevant problems for future power systems is provided. Future opportunities for adopting game theoretic methodologies in the transition from legacy systems toward smart and intelligent grids are also discussed. In a nutshell, this article provides a comprehensive account of the application of game theory in smart grid systems tailored to the interdisciplinary characteristics of these systems that integrate components from power systems, networking, communications, and control.