VHS and LD copies particularly when viewed on a CRT screen do hide some deficiencies in the master but not all. Those formats are also very player dependent as all are not equal in their output quality.
However as someone who owns the major releases on VHS and LD I can say:
The older master done for the JSC and released on VHS in the widescreen collector’s box and on LD as the Fox Special Widescreen Editions are far better than the later versions based on the Definitive Collection master as they have none of the issues with drained color, DVNR and motion smearing. I have done many comparisons between formats over the years as I picked up new variants. The VHS copies are quite good for that format but the letterboxed ones while properly formatted lose a lot of detail since the resolution is eaten up by letterboxing bars.
But the Laserdiscs are the only way to go if wanting to watch older copies pre-GOUT. The audio is full PCM and while VHS hifi Dolby surround can be great it still won’t compare to full 16 bit 44.1 khz PCM. If you’re sticking to this era then I would advise the Fox original widescreen discs as you save a lot over not getting the original Japanese discs. The Definitive set is nice and full CAV but has all the DC master problems and most boxes have rot issues. The Faces sets are better due to not having rot but are CLV and some are Super NTSC encoded.
That said even though the older master is a tad soft, the DC and Faces are noticeably softer even on a CRT screen and I personally hate the motion smearing and washed out look.
I grew up with seeing these over and over and always wondered why different rental copies appeared so different to one another.
Lastly Laserdiscs usually originated masters in the pre-DVD era and then that master would be ported to the VHS release.