I'd put the OT ahead of LOTR...
The story's more my taste... It's not got the seriousness the LOTR trilogy carries with it. To that end, to me, it's a better story because it's more of an escape.
LOTR is SO close to Star Wars in my mind though... I really don't want to pick one over the other. I consider them pretty much equal. I rank the prequals below them in a tie with Indiana Jones (This is just out of trilogies I personally enjoy).
The thing then is what's in the movies that makes one better than another as far as effort, in my view.
To me, the Star Wars films were more "hard fought". They did more for film in general than the LOTR trilogy did. That's not to take away from the LOTR trilogy, but Lucasfilm's subsidiaries have transformed not just the film industry but entire ways in which films are even marketed. LOTR was POSSIBLE because of the efforts Lucas's special effects teams have acheived.
As far as visual effects comparisons, I'd say the prequals are equal to LOTR actually. Actually, LOTR's features CGI characters that took less work than in the prequals. When broken down, the Gollum figure's so vastly LESS complex than, say, Yoda... He's more on a level with a CGI Clone or battledroid in complexity of animation.
The battles turned out better for the story... More "real" in look not because the animation in the prequals is bad, but it's not put together well from the coordination standpoint, if that makes sense. In LOTR Helm's Deep, Minis Tirith, etc., are all really seamless battles that look logical and realistic.
In the end though, from what goes into them and the level of quality they are, they're pretty equal series to me, so I give the edge to Star Wars only because it's advancing the industry overall. LOTR's efforts were cool though, and equal to the prequals... I'm sure ideas there are being adapted elsewhere too.
To me the classics set the bar for effects though and continuously have improved hollywood... I don't think LOTR's spawning anything like that.
It's a great series though, it'll always be equal to STar Wars in my heart, and it surpassed IJ to me which I thought wouldn't happen.
As for the others... Alien and BTTF would be under the prequals and IJ... The rest I could care about. Really I could care about Alien and BTTF too...