You have to define “need”. If by “need” you mean what it takes to attain sotapanna, then no, you don’t need abhidhamma, you probably don’t even need to read more than one nikaya.
5-10 suttas alone would suffice
- Kalama/kesamutti sutta
- Samma ditthi sutta
- Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta
- The second sermon (3 characteristics)
- Sammasa Sutta
- Fire sermon
- Satipatthana sutta
to name a few.
The important part is calming the mind (samatha) and understanding intention + attention → 6senses → contact → feeling → craving → clinging → becoming → suffering
Specifically, how some objects of pleasant feelings can result in craving, which is dangerous, and how some objects of pleasant feelings don’t result in craving, which is safe.
If an object of a pleasant feeling leaves you wanting more, that’s bad.
And those who are skilled and trained see the true dangers of those objects that are dangerous, and those who are unskilled are deluded and don’t see the dangers of those objects. Just like a skilled ranger knows which parts of a territory has traps and landmines that result in death, and which doesn’t.
“Monks, any contemplatives & brahmans in the past who saw whatever seems endearing & alluring in terms of the world as constant, as pleasant, as self, as freedom from disease, as safety: They made craving grow. Those who made craving grow made acquisition grow. Those who made acquisition grow made stress grow. Those who made stress grow were not released from birth, aging, death, sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs. They were not released, I tell you, from suffering & stress.
And this not only needs to be theoretically understood, but also tested and proven to oneself, that avoiding the dangerous objects indeed causes craving to weaken which reduces suffering.