This study extends current research on media entertainment by examining the effects of (perceived) game characteristics on hedonic, eudaimonic and telic entertainment experiences. Furthermore, differentiating between meaningful and non-meaningful games, we investigated whether these game types lead to the experience of different gaming-related emotions and what determines their discontinuation. Building on an online survey with 325 German gamers, we found a game’s narrative, its mechanics, the satisfaction of basic needs and perceived cognitive and affective challenge to be associated with the three entertainment experiences in distinct ways. In addition, the results suggest that meaningful and non-meaningful games induce specific emotions and are discontinued due to different considerations. The study furthers our theoretical understanding of (interactive) media entertainment and shows how the interplay of factors internal and external to a game shapes the overall game entertainment experience.