but nevertheless think they were right to be made the way they were.
You've never seen how much better a good fan edit can make the prequels though.
If viewing the series chronologically (starting with 1 and ending with 6) the "Fall of the Jedi" fan edits by Q2 not only improve the movies drastically, they remove any plot spoilers that get revealed too early. Someone who sees the Q2 version of Revenge of the Sith and then watches Star Wars '77 won't be saying "Dude you just kissed your sister!"
On the other hand, many people watch in the Machete order (4, 5, 2, 3, 6) where you start with Star Wars '77, then watch Empire Strikes Back, then with the cliffhanger ending of wondering if Vader is Luke's father you go back and watch prequels 2 and 3 (skipping #1 altogether) which shows that Vader is indeed Luke's father and sets up the Emperor as a terrifying adversary, then watch Return of the Jedi as a finale.
With the Machete order there is no longer any need to cut plot spoilers out of the prequels. However there is still huge room for improvement. The fan edits by Hal 9000 do an excellent job of delivering that improvement.
I linked the page describing his version of Episode 1 too even though it has no role in a Machete order viewing. Note that there are different revisions of the Hal 9000 fan edits. Version 4 are the latest and are a big improvement over version 3.
It also matters which versions of the original trilogy you watch. Lucas tinkered with the movies incessantly, always changing them for the worse.
For example, the Han Shot First controversy. In the original Star Wars '77 Han shoots Greedo in cold blood to prevent being captured, setting him up as an amoral scoundrel who then gradually grows over the movies and ends up a hero of the rebellion by the end. By changing it so that Han shoots in self defense, Lucas completely messed up Han Solo's character development.
Another example is the end of Empire Strikes Back. In the original after Luke escapes by jumping off the platform and is rescued by Lando and Leia, Vader orders his shuttle and the movie goes directly to Vader pursuing the Millennium Falcon in his star destroyer. There is a sense that Vader is close on their tails as they flee Cloud City. However Lucas changed that in later versions so that after ordering his shuttle, there is a pointless scene of Vader's shuttle slowly approaching his ship followed by a pointless scene of an honor guard ceremony as he boards his star destroyer. By the time we get back to chasing the Millennium Falcon the movie has lost all sense of Vader being right on their tail as they flee.
So it is important to watch the original 1977, 1980, and 1983 versions of the original trilogy.
In this case what you want to watch are Harmy's Despecialized Editions:
Current versions of the Harmy restorations are:
SW '77 -- Version 2.6
ESB -- Version 2.5
RotJ -- Version 2.5
These are notably improved over earlier versions. Version 3.0 are in the works, but are a major project and it'll be some years before we see them.