Of course it can.
Look at how much better the old Star Wars films looked than the new ones.
And whterh or not an old special effect looked better doesn't take away form the fact that they were more innovative. Look at all the techniques they used to make Superman fly.,
By the way, the shot in the original Superman film where he flies up to save L
is form the helicopter .. it's awesome, it has a lot of energy, and there's quick edit there to hide the flaws but it adds to energy of the shot.
Yes, the old SFX are in some ways better. If nothing else, they are more dynamic and visceral..