Yes you can, the tricks are to account properly for the edges and install a backer. I will nail off some 1/4" hardi-backer then tile over that. In this project.
I used some large 18 x 21" tiles with some 3" wide bullnosed edging.
The time saving for this are OK, but normally the extra work to pull the old tops and install new plywood and backer do not add that much to the project. If you are working around some appliances (ranges mostly) the added height can sometimes be problematic with the adjustable feet.
Thanks, I didn't think about the added height around my stove!