In a captivating four-hour, 57-minute final of wildly fluctuating fortunes, Djokovic denied Federer 7-6 (7-5) 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 13-12 (7-3) to retain the title he won last year, and add to the trophies he also landed at the All England Club in 2011, 2014 and 2015.
The epic encounter was the longest title decider in the championships' 152-year history, surpassing Rafael Nadal's similarly dramatic four-hour, 46-minute win over Federer in 2008.
Following a rule change introduced only this year, Sunday night's (AEST) epic final set - which stretched more than two hours alone - was the first ever decided in a tiebreaker after games were locked at 12-all.
"Congratulations, man, that was crazy," Federer said after Djokovic became the first player to win a Wimbledon men's singles final after saving championship points since Bob Falkenburg in 1948.
"I'll try to forget," Federer said after being 40-15 up at 8-7 in the tension-filled final set.
Djokovic's 16th grand slam title vaulted him to within four of Federer's record 20, and two behind Rafael Nadal's 18.
The 32-year-old Serbian has now won four of the past five slams.