Let me make clear that I am only posting game ENGINES, not frameworks or downloadable modules!
Game Maker Studio:
it has a user-friendly interface and gives a really good introduction on game development and the logic behind it. It is powered by drag and drop code blocks but includes the very powerful GML scripting language, used to code your game. You can download a demo which exports to Windows and buy add-on modules to export to different platforms, such as iOS, Android, Mac... However, it is only available on Windows.
extremely user-friendly, using "drag and drop" code blocks called behaviours and attributes. It has a physics engine, particle creator, game controller support, etc. The basic version is free and exports to iOS and the GameSalad arcade website. It is by far the easiest to use for beginners, but not extremely powerful. It has very promising features coming soon, such as a script editor, powered by Lua. It is available on Mac and Windows, but the Mac version being the most used in the community. The Pro edition exports to Windows and Mac desktop applications, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Kindle Fire, Nook and FireTV, and includes in-app purchasing and advertising networks.
the most powerful game engine in this list, with 3D modelling and texturing features but can also be used for 2D games. There are many useful features in the Pro version ($1,500), but the basic one is much more limited. Apart from the regular exports mentioned in previous engines, it also supports Wii U, PS3/4/Vita, Xbox One...
a cross platform engine powered by C++ or BASIC scripts. It comes with Box2D physics, particle creator, a promising 3D engine, advertising networks and hardware inputs. It is worth mentioning, they are developing AppGameKit 2, which will cost $99 (for now, at least), and will include an enhanced 3D engine, advanced collisions, etc.
Other engines: Corona SDK, LÖVE2D, Moai.
Useful Tools and Software [EXTRA]
- GIMP (image editor, best free alternative to Adobe Photoshop) - FREE
- Piskel (image/sprite editor, mainly focused on pixel art, including an online version!) - FREE
- Tiled (tile-map editor, used for making levels and maps for your game using spritesheets) - FREE
- Bfxr (create and manipulate your own sound effects) - FREE
- Blender (3D modelling and texturing software) - FREE
Obviously, I have not covered all engines and tools, so if you know any other tools, leave a comment and lets expand this post!