I also prefer season 1, though I don’t consider 2 bad or disappointing by any means.
S1 just has a simplicity to it that makes for a welcome and overdue change of pace. And is very audience-friendly both for hardcore and casual fans. When recommending Star Wars to a friend that might have a preconceived bias against the movie saga, I always suggest starting with the Mandalorian S1, because it’s a simple yet engaging and beautifully told story that happens to be situated in the SW universe.
Though S2 is perfectly comprehensible for non-fans, arguably a bit of its impact is lost when you don’t know the relevance, backstory or fan-following of characters like Boba Fett, Bo-Katan, Ahsoka, etc, even though I loved their respective episodes.
I’m not gonna lie, I was almost moved to tears by Luke’s appearance at the end (except for maybe the CGI effects…). But now that the Jedi quest storyline is resolved by now, I don’t expect the future path of the show will rely on galaxy-shrinking cameos. Ahsoka and Boba are getting their own spin-offs, the show now has to build up to the retaking of Mandalore and the Imperial plot (even if Grogu is not with Mando anymore, we still need resolution to what are the Imperial Remnant’s plans).
In a way, The Mandalorian is shaping up to be like Rebels. A self-contained first season, a second one full of cameos, returning characters and a powerful climax involving a major saga player, and the third onwards gradually go back to the beginning, developing the main characters and building up to a conclusion that pays off their personal arcs rather than a galactic-scale event.