In the current study, we investigated the role of three basic motivational needs (need for power, affiliation, achievement) as antecedents of goals within the 2 × 2 achievement goal framework, and examined their combined predictive validity with regard to academic performance in a sample of 120 university students. Structural equation modeling analysis largely supported our postulated model, linking motivational needs indirectly to course grades through goals. Achievement goals were formed by a combination of different motives: need for achievement was a positive predictor of all four achievement goals, and need for affiliation was negatively related to performance-approach and performance-avoidance goals. Additionally, need for power was a positive predictor of performance-avoidance goals. Performance-approach goals had a direct (positive) effect on performance outcomes. In sum, our results integrate basic motivational needs with the achievement goals literature and extend therefore hierarchical achievement motivation models, by showing how basic human motives of achievement, affiliation, and power are related to goal striving motivation and performance outcomes in an academic setting.