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Today's computer games will list the minimum system requirements in order for them to be played properly. One of these specifications is the amount of dedicated video memory. The more memory a video card has, the more textures and detailed information it can store. This means that playing the same game on two different machines with different amounts of video memory could produce two very different displays.
While memory is not the only consideration in determining the quality of a video card, it is still an important one. The smaller the amount of video memory, the more your computer will have to engage in, the slower process of accessing its own RAM to continue with the game.
It is important to understand the danger of placing too much emphasis on video memory, however. A higher-end graphics card with less memory is still going to be better than a lower end card with more. The trick is to find the right balance.