- Every year, I go through the effort of making sure I included 80's era games on my Top 50, only to later kick the games down to the 50's and 60's when I remember other games I've played. I suspect the same applies to other people, because the 80's need more love.
I see three factors here at work. For once, most users on VGC are younger. Even for me as one of the older users, I really started gaming in the 90s, so I played 80s games years after their release. The second point is, that gaming developed since the 80s. That is not only on a technological level, but developers also learned a lot about structure, motivation and other stuff over the years. So older games can seem dated. And the third thing: the industry wasn't as big back then. Which resulted in way less games released than today.
For me personally, I consider some 80s games, namely Indiana Jones (which made my list 2017), NetHack (which also made my list 2017), Arkanoid, Blockout, Battle Chess and Populous. But that is a much smaller list than the games from later decades to begin with and they just don't make it in the end.
I just want to add that, IMO, the two dominant platforms in the 80s were the arcade and the NES. Computer games existed, but they really didn't come into their own until the mouse was common and that was in the 90s. (I hesitate to even call these PC games, because most computer games were not played on a Microsoft OS.)
I don't think most forum members here have ever been in a real arcade. (I.e. Dave and Busters is nothing like the ones from the 80s.) So, I don't think most people have had a chance to play arcade games on their original hardware which is how they are meant to be played. NES is more accessible, but it is also a similar story. There is a noticeable difference when you play NES action games on original hardware (including a CRT TV set). I have a NES classic and I cannot beat Mr Dream (i.e. Mike Tyson) at the end of Punch Out no matter how many times I try. There is too much lag in the system. There is lag in the NES classic and most HD TVs also have lag. I recently got an AVS system (which is lag free) and now I can beat Mike Tyson at the end of the game.
Some NES games are extremely intense and require precise timing and fast reflexes. Early arcade games are the same way. After the 8-Bit generation games gradually slowed down, became easier, and have more room for error in the coding. People can play modern action games which are full of lag and to most people they feel fine, because of how they are designed. But NES games and arcade games are extremely quick and intense and will not feel right unless they are played on lag free hardware which simulates the original experience.