Yes, performance (and I do use the term loosely) graphics cards have been made as far back as the Pentium 2/3. Before that a graphics card was required because there was no onboard graphics solution yet.
Being a pentium 4 you will be very limited to PCI or AGP graphics cards. There is a possibility for a more modern PCIe support, but very unlikely. You will also have to know what your motherboard is to know what type of PCI or AGP is supported. You also need to know what size power supply you have so you know how large of a GPU your system can support.
Current onboard graphics may be better than anything you can find on AGP/PCI, so you may be better off upgrading your whole system than throwing money at something that will show minimal improvement.