Understanding how cancer cells migrate, and how this migration is affected by the mechanical and chemical composition of the extracellular matrix (ECM) is critical to investigate and possibly interfere with the metastatic process, which is responsible for most cancer-related deaths. In this article we review the state of the art about the use of hydrogel-based three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds as artificial platforms to model the mechanobiology of cancer cell migration. We start by briefly reviewing the concept and composition of the extracellular matrix (ECM) and the materials commonly used to recreate the cancerous ECM. Then we summarize the most relevant knowledge about the mechanobiology of cancer cell migration that has been obtained using 3D hydrogel scaffolds, and relate those discoveries to what has been observed in the clinical management of solid tumors. Finally, we review some recent methodological developments, specifically the use of novel bioprinting techniques and microfluidics to create realistic hydrogel-based models of the cancer ECM, and some of their applications in the context of the study of cancer cell migration.