I saw Top Gun: Maverick yesterday, and I'll be honest - I hadn't seen the original until last week! The new one looked like so much fun though, and I knew I couldn't see it without having seen the 1986 classic. The sequel was an upgrade that felt like a remake at times with lot's of nods to the original, plenty of deja vu moments, and of course lot's of action. That being said, I could have skipped the original and still have enjoyed it without feeling too left out.
Reviews have the sequel certified fresh at 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, a massive upgrade from the original's 56%.