This phenomenological study investigates mining engineering students' game playing experiences for educational purposes and seeks to understand the essence of their experiences. In this study, three non-gamer and three-gamer mining engineering students were selected through a criterion sampling method, and then data were collected through in-depth phenomenological interviews and focus group interviews. The study showed that visualisation, learning by doing and motivation were the common themes for the benefits of the use of games in education, whereas addiction, underestimation and time management emerged as the possible problems. Motivational elements were found to be challenge, curiosity, control, information seeking, observation, assessment, hypothesis building and decision making that shaped the participants' experiences. However, games' effect changed based on the personal characteristics and interests of the students. It can be claimed that the findings of this study indicate promising results in the use of games in mining engineering education.