>>6100>Gamemaker need not apply.
Why? It's a sound alternative and definitely worth the shot considering it isn't as bad as other stuff out there as, say, fusion.
Very reliable and bb tier deving nowadays for 3D, but terrible for 2D, even more than RM. Would not recommend.
Anyway, back on topic, it depends enterily on what you want to do. VN? Then go for Ren'py. In fact, it's so flexible I dare to say you can do much more than just a VN, though it doesn't seem worthwhile if your project is that ambitious. Still, even if you don't know python I highly suggest you to invest time in learning their scripting language. It's one of the few free engines that actually works well most of the time.
If you go for JRPG, then I personally recommend Wolf. It does everything rpgmemer can do and more, better at that too, performance and developing wise. I heard good things about rpgtoolkit but I've never used it so I can't comfirm.
There's also 2.5D things out there (see yumenikki3D as an example) but I've not touched them so I can't say for sure whether they are hard to work with or not, though I remember they aren't from the little I skimmed over the manuals.