It's difficult to explain but it was the last WC before the game became what it is now. Hardly any foreign players played for British sides for example do we were watching people we'd only ever heard about or see every four years. But things like Argentina being beaten by Cameroon in the opening game, the tension of England's group with it almost going to the toss of a coin to decide who would go through. The Cameroon and Belgium games for England. The quality was probably not the best but the excitement was right up there. It was also a really hot summer and that helped. Also the hype and 24/7 news coverage wasn't there so there's was genuine anticipation for the next game.
And of course Pavaroti!
I think also, for me at least, it was my last summer of being a kid. Finished 6th form that year and it was the last summer me and my mates spent together. Playing footie for hours in the sun and then home to watch the games. Of course, not every game was broadcast like nowadays, which possibly made it all the more special.
Also, we never knew how good we had it with Sir Bobby. The clown Taylor who took over afterwards and totally fucked England up for the next few years.