In many board games, victory points (or VPs) are accumulated through the particular actions of the players, usually by meeting some specific goals. At the end of the game, the player with the most VPs is declared the winner (e.g. In Carcassonne or Medici, the player who is furthest along on the scoring track is the winner), or the game ends when any player first reaches a set number of victory points. (e.g. In The Settlers of Catan, the first player to accumulate ten points wins.)
There are some war games simulating conflict between forces of unequal strength that use a system of victory points so that the winner is not based simply on which side defeats the other, but on factors such as how long the defeat takes, how much destruction was avoided, how much territory was retained by the defeated side, etc.
There are also many games that do not use victory points to determine victory.