The 'quick' answer is yes. If however a game is struggling to run then right-click on the 'exe' and click compatability. Its here that a box can be ticked so the game plays as if its running under XP SP2.
I can most definitely reply to this. Many will, some games require a special driver (Not the graphic driver) that is in XP but not in Vista. Or at least, not my Vista. Don't be afraid of a major driver problem, if your game suddenly crashes, freezes. I think they call it a display driver. The problem does fool Windows.
My technical support team said that the game collapsing and freezing was due to the fact that my Vista Home Premium is not an XP. On certain topics, it requires upgrading. The XP has something in the display driver section that the true Vista does not. It handles most everything alright, only two games had a serious problem.
Mah Jong Quest II gave my machine a really bad collapse. I have a direct X of 10. I was lead to believe that I have a Windows Home Premium XP. Mainly because I carry office suites. I think I'll get the correct stuff after I upgrade to Vista Ultimate, hence the retarded driver.
As to why you saw a crash when playing the game could be due to other factors..
Even though your using Dx10 it is backward compatible with Dx9 or which ever the DX the above game uses.
You may have not been up to date with the latest drivers or it may have overheated whilst playing the game. Games stress the computer far more than 'Office suites' so if you have a heat problem playing a game will quickly make that problem become more apparent.
Vista Ultimate does not handle games any better than Home Premium. They both use DX10 as well as needing the correct up to date drivers to do the job thats being asked of it. It is up to you to make sure you get the correct drivers and buying a more expensive os won't alter that fact.