The Â£80 million project on Dundee's waterfront was recognised by international architecture and design bible Wallpaper* along with Milan, which was crowned the world's best city, a hotel perched on the edge of cliff in South Korea and a restaurant in Copenhagen.
Designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, V&A Dundee has already attracted more than 360,000 visitors since it opened in September.
Its rivals for the award included Qater's National Library, a new art museum, gallery and auction house complex on the outskirts of Beijing's Forbidden City, and the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts, the world's largest performing arts centre in world, which has been created at Kaohsiung harbour in Taiwan.
The verdict from Wallpaper* on V&A Dundee, which is the centrepiece of a Â£1 billion waterfront regeneration project, described it as resembling "a moored ship."
It stated: "The highly sculptural V&A Dundee is Japanese architect Kengo Kuma’s first UK building – and Scotland’s first dedicated design museum.
"The ragged cliffs of north eastern Scotland inspired the composition’s distinct shape, clad in some 2,500 sheets of layered horizontal cast stone panelling.
"Yet the concrete structure appears light, bearing an abstracted resemblance to the prow of a moored ship. Kuma wanted this building to welcome visitors with a strong design gesture."
V&A Dundee director Philip Long said: “We're delighted to win this prestigious global award.
"Wallpaper is one of the world’s most highly respected design magazines and everyone at V&A Dundee is thrilled to have won, especially when we were shortlisted against such incredible international projects as the Apple Park Visitor Centre in California.
“V&A Dundee has already welcomed over 360,000 visitors, and we are all looking forward to an exciting year with exhibitions on videogames and the future of robots.”
Dundee City Council leader John Alexander said: "This award from Wallpaper* is a tremendous accolade for V&A Dundee. It has put our city at the centre of international attention.
"I am delighted at this award as it recognises the quality of design and ambition at the heart of this building."