Current and future wireless applications strongly rely on precise real-time localization. A number of applications such as smart cities, Internet of Things (IoT), medical services, automotive industry, underwater exploration, public safety, and military systems require reliable and accurate localization techniques. Generally, the most popular localization/ positioning system is the Global Positioning System (GPS). GPS works well for outdoor environments but fails in indoor and harsh environments. Therefore, a number of other wireless local localization techniques are developed based on terrestrial wireless networks, wireless sensor networks (WSNs) and wireless local area networks (WLANs). Also, there exist localization techniques which fuse two or more technologies to find out the location of the user, also called signal of opportunity based localization. Most of the localization techniques require ranging measurements such as time of arrival (ToA), time difference of arrival (TDoA), direction of arrival (DoA) and received signal strength (RSS). There are also range-free localization techniques which consider the proximity information and do not require the actual ranging measurements. Dimensionality reduction techniques are famous among the range free localization schemes. Multidimensional scaling (MDS) is one of the dimensionality reduction technique which has been used extensively in the recent past for wireless networks localization. In this paper, a comprehensive survey is presented for MDS and MDS based localization techniques in WSNs, Internet of Things (IoT), cognitive radio networks, and 5G networks.