I'm looking for a good, free 2D game engine. The project is a moderized version of a classic RPG; high quality pre-rendered 3D graphics, cinematics, high sound quality, etc.
I have no programming experience, but am more than happy to learn. The prefferable language I would like to use is Java, but C++ will also work.
If you don't have prior programming experience, Game Maker seems like a good choice.
I used it many years ago and found it pretty fun to work with.
EDIT: Actually, if you're making an RPG, I recommend buying either Neverwinter Nights or Morrowind, and using their respective toolsets. Each one is really nice and gives a ton of flexibility. I think Morrowind's tools are more versatile, but Neverwinter Night's are definately much more easy and straightforward.
I suggest that if you dont already have any programming skills, dont bother trying to learn any graphics programming yet. Unless of course if your planning on using a non-programming tool like Game Maker (though I believe it has its own language). If your planning on programming your game, try to make a few text console games first.