Games in the 80's and early 90's had a lot going for them, chiptune, simple graphics, and god awful game design. This is because:
1. 'Game Development' was in its really early stages, and was still based on Arcade Machines designed to siphon money.
2. Memory limitations made it so that some ideas that would have saved some time for the player, such as a save system.
Neither of those are true today.
But since they WERE true, and nostalgia sells, they must hold true. For example, Fighting Games have notoriously awful controls that have been kept since the very first Street Fighter. This was because of the joystick and limited rooms for buttons. Modern controllers, however, can support several control schemes, and can be a lot more welcoming yet still remain tournament friendly (see: Super Smash Bros.) Yet since games like Street Fighter represent the 'golden age' of fighters, NEW fighting games STILL use the archaic, unforgiving, control scheme despite it building a massive barrier to entry for new players. This is why games like Skullgirls, by far one of the more welcoming games in the genre, are still pretty unwelcoming.
Other ways this appears are wonky platforming (1001 Spikes,) insane difficulty spikes (Spelunky,) and lack of options for new players to mitigate any of the above (almost all 'retro' games.)
See: Goddamned Bats, Fake Difficulty, Hitbox Dissonance, Nintendo Hard, SNK Boss