I think this is a deliberate change in behaviour between Moodle 3.6 and Moodle 3.7. I think the change is MDL-57636 and it looks like the change is slightly different between versions:
- in Moodle 3.6 the change included some backward compatibility so the course list displayed as before, but
- in Moodle 3.7 onwards the behaviour changes as you've described.
Basically with Front page items when logged in set to "Enrolled courses" then this is what users, including the admin, sees on the front page. The admin isn't enrolled on the courses so doesn't see the list.
The fact these were seen in Moodle 3.6 was actually a bug, the one fixed in MDL-57636. Maybe changing Front page items when logged in to "List of courses" is the setting you want.