They were part of what made these photos great, yes.
Same as Ansel only getting a shot good enough to be famous with not with his past snapshit camera, but with like 20kg of gear, filters and stuff and things that not too many other people had. Once he figured out how he can gearfag, he got a good number of such photos. And yes, if you had Hubble or Chandra on your own first - yea, you were close to guaranteed to get a lot of relevant photos even if you didn't manage to color the pillars of creation quite as interestingly.
Of course with a FF camera or even a MF camera, you're not on that "automatic win" position, so you'll still need a lot of relevance on top of that. But people will definitely prefer these shots. That's why you see them everywhere around celebs and marketing campaigns and so on, plus they make for most of the most viewed flickr etc. photos and also most of the famous photos / movies in general had far more gear than the average kid or average adult got their hands on.